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Brown Rice, Lentil, and Spinach Curry

3/4 c Lentils
1/4 c Saute liquid
1 sm Onion; chopped
1 Stalk celery; chopped
3 Cloves garlic; minced
1 md Carrot; shredded
1 sm Green chile; minced
2 ts Ground cumin
1/2 ts Ground coriander
1/4 ts Turmeric
1/4 ts Ground cinnamon
1/4 ts Ground cardamom
1/8 ts Ground cloves
1 c Long-grain brown rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 1/4 c Vegetable broth or water
1/2 lb Spinach leaves; chopped
1 ts Cumin seeds
1 tb Freshly squeezed lemon juice


Wash lentils and put them in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat until ready to add to the rice.


Heat the saute liquid in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onion and celery and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add carrot and chile. Cook, stirring, 1 or 2 minutes. Add ground spices and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add rice. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until grains turn translucent, then opaque, but not scorched. Stir in the lentils and any unabsorbed water in the lentil pot. Add salt, pepper, and broth or water. Cook at a low boil for 15 minutes. Add the spinach, pushing it down into the rice mixture. Cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook 30 minutes.


In a small skillet or saucepan, cook the cumin seeds until they begin to darken and pop. Pour over the lentil-rice mixture, add the lemon juice, and serve. Serves 3 or 4 as a main dish.


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