‘You and I take vegetarian food for granted’, said my friend Connie.
She was sharing her experience while helping the native Inuit of Iqaluit. ‘They find the texture of lentils unfamiliar. Its not part of their culture. They are hunters and gatherers’, she said.
Connie is right. I’m fortunate I was raised in a country like India. Where Its super easy to prepare light, unprocessed, sustainable recipes. I could easily cook lentils 365 days of the year and not have to repeat a recipe. I really feel for new vegans. Especially those for whom a veg diet is not part of their food culture.
To help the people of Iqaluit, Connie has been fund raising for months. Iqaluit is a northern city closer to Greenland than it is to Ontario where I live.
With the funds raised, she bought them this industrial grade food processor to puree their lentils. She’s flown off to Iqaluit to hand this off. So their lentils will be more palatable to their hunter – gatherer state. Wow, look at the size of that. I’m surprised Connie can even hold it up!
I promised to write her an easy puree lentil recipe that they could blend in their soup kitchen as they transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer.
1 cup red lentils or yellow mung beans
1 tbsp. fresh ginger minced
1 tbsp. fresh garlic minced
1½ cup tomatoes, chopped or 2 tbsp. paste
1 cup onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. Grapeseed Oil(or oil of choice)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dry fenugreek leaves
3-4 curry leaves
1 dry red chili(optional)
4 white pepper pods(or sub with black pepper pods)
2 Thai green chilies(optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh Cilantro(optional)
1 tbsp. lime juice(or to taste)
• Wash lentils thoroughly. Soak in 2 cups water and cook till soft.
• Chop onions, garlic and ginger and tomatoes. Set aside.
• Heat oil in pan. CharuYoga tip – I’m excited & grateful to have a chance to introduce the hunter-gatherer inuit to vegan food.. I’m not sure what oils they have locally available so will leave choice of oil to them and to you. Grapeseed oil in my humble opinion is great.
• Add Hing, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, Thai chilies, red chilies, pepper pods and turmeric and then quickly add onions, garlic and ginger. Sauté till cooked and soft.
• Add tomatoes and spices and let cook till soft.
• Puree the cooked beans and add to sauce. with ½ cup water(if wishing a more liquid consistency). Let come to boil.
• Take off stove. Stir in lime juice and fresh cilantro leaves.
• Serve with your choice of rice chapati, or pita bread or any bread 🙂
Though the Iqaluit inspired this post, dear reader, anyone who is a new vegan or even a seasoned vegan can easily try my recipe. You will be sure to fall in love with it. Its foolproof and delicious beyond description.