Lentils and Rice

This is not so much a recipe as a suggestion. If you know how to cook lentils and you know how to cook rice, it’s no further along the bounds of creativity than that (save the throwing in of whichever curry powder you like best).

However. Here you go.

Cook rice. Best Basmati is the obvious choice. Put the dry rice into a saucepan and cover with water until there is as much water as will reach the first crease of your little finger if you lightly touch the top of the rice with the tip. Salt and bring to the boil; reduce the heat and simmer until there is no water left. CHECK IT. There’s little as annoying as puddingy rice.

Dice an onion finely, and saute in a fair bit of oil for as many minutes as it takes to make the onion translucent and yellowy.

Grate a few cloves of garlic into the onions, add a couple of scoops of curry powder, stir madly for about 30 seconds. Add dry lentils and cover with stock or salted water.  Less is more with lentils (bit like pasta).

This was a staple of my childhood and I love it.

No pictures – the camera has taken permanent residence in the depths of Himself’s van – but if it’s tasty and it’s curry-y, then you’ve got it right.

Sultanas add sweetness; tomato puree adds depth and the benefits of using stock (even a bouillon cube) cannot be underestimated (though watch the salt content).

Autotherapist vs Soulsubsistence

Okay, so I love writing and I love food. Here lies the point of soulsubsistence (that and my hedonistic puritan tendencies). And I kept on writing about food until there was an upset at work. Such an upset that I lost my job overnight. This led to an overnight loss in interest in food which lasted the two weeks it took me to get another job (happily under the same people as before). This is not surprising. What was, was that my life changed more significantly than I had expected.

Then a publisher (www.rainstormpress.com) offered to publish my novel, Autotherapy.

What came from all of this was a new pressure to have a ‘proper’ blog with some relevance to the book (Autotherapy, so self-healing), exhaustion from the day job and no time to myself. None of which was conducive to writing about food.

STOP PRESS: the new blog is a disaster because I’m not interested in day-to-day pontifications about self-healing, however much I think about it and apply it to my day and night, and therefore writing about it doesn’t work for me. Up-your-arse-twaddle about something you know little about doesn’t wear well on me and whilst I’m not a quitter, I know when to quit.

Then today I read an article from Recipe Rifle, a blog about food and life which (despite the fuck words) gives me a sharp crosswind of air and this particular one reminded me of my problem. Esther writes without impunity, without pontification and damnit, without worrying whether or not she’s getting it right.

So now I know what to do.

Soulsubsistence may not have obvious links to Autotherapy (such as title, subject or characters) but it is connected. Autotherapy is (at a long shot) about the healing process. Its characters mainly get to heal themselves or die. And death performs a function of healing of a sort. I get my daily healing from the process of cooking, be it ordinary or puritan or hedonist and there I rest my case. If I can’t make it work this way, then I don’t know why I want to write at all.

Try the other blog and see what you think (I’m right, whatever you think of it).

In the meantime, note that I am alone tonight, with the opportunity to eat something which doesn’t involve the death of an innocent creature. Lentils and rice. Detoxifying hedonistic puritanism at its best. See here for the recipe.