Thursday, December 26, 2013

Curry Lentil Wontons

So, there I was on Christmas day celebrating someone else's holiday with my family by hiding away in our house. I didn't want to go out for the stereotypical Chinese meal, and even if I did, my wife is not terribly fond of Chinese food. Indian food, on the other hand...that's a whole different story. We all love Indian food.

Indian food is the new Chinese. But I felt a tug toward my stereotypical heritage and felt that I had to bridge the two cultures together. So, I developed the recipe below to celebrate two nationalities not my own on a holiday not my own. Nondenominational deity bless America!

Curry Lentil Wontons

  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • Enough canola or peanut oil to deep fry

Sort through the lentils to remove any stones, and rinse and drain the lentils. Saute the onions, tomato, and ginger in 1 tablespoon of oil until the onions are translucent. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of lentils. Return to medium heat and cook for about 30 minutes or just until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft. In the last five to ten minutes of cooking, add the curry powder, cinnamon, and salt. While the lentils are cooking, cook the brown rice in a separate pot in two cups of water. When both rice and lentils are fully cooked, mix the two together.

Heat a couple of inches of oil in a small pot to 350 degrees F. Dampen two edges of the square wonton wrapper with water. Place one tablespoon of filling in the center of the wonton wrapper and fold diagonally, sealing the edges. Fold the corners of the triangle over and press down gently to maintain the shape. Fry each wonton in the oil just until the skin is light brown. Transfer to a rack or paper towels to drain. Serve with tamarind sauce.

NOTE: I'm sure my way of folding the wontons is nowhere near traditional, but it works for me. If you have a better way to fold, go for it. Where melding cultures here anyway. Nothing is sacrosanct.

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