GINNA PARSONS: Movie offers feast for eyes

GINNA PARSONS

GINNA PARSONS

On Saturday, my sweet husband agreed to go to the movie with me to see “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”

The last movie I got him to was “Up,” which was in theaters in 2009. I’ve tried over the past five years to get him to comedies, romances, action movies and animation, but he always finds an excuse.

But the man loves food and especially good food and most definitely French food, so I knew I had a fighting chance with this one.

We were not disappointed. In an early scene that involves a tray of food with fresh tomatoes, cheese, olives and bread, Charlie leaned over to me and whispered, “That was worth the price of admission.”

We were also taken with the Indian food in the movie, so much so that we decided to go out for Indian food for supper, until we remembered we no longer have an Indian restaurant in Tupelo.

Maybe if we did, it would serve something like this lentil dish from the Food Network’s Aarti Paarti.

Everyday Red Lentils

1 cup red lentils, picked through

2 cups water

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 serrano chile, sliced in half (optional)

Salt

12 teaspoon cumin seeds

12 teaspoon black mustard seeds

Generous 12 teaspoon turmeric powder

12 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse lentils under running water. Add them to a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine water, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chile, if using, and the lentils. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim any scum from the surface. Lower heat, cover the pot and gently simmer until lentils are tender, almost falling apart, 30 to 40 minutes. Whisk the lentils, releasing the natural starch, and mash some of them so the mixture becomes thick. Add salt to taste.

In a small bowl, combine cumin and mustard seeds. In another bowl, combine turmeric and paprika. In a small skillet, over a medium-high flame, warm vegetable oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add seeds and immediately cover so you don’t get splattered. Add spices. They should sizzle and bubble a little – that’s the blooming. The mixture should bloom for about 30 seconds, no more.

Pour the oil mixture into the lentils, standing back so you don’t get splattered. Stir to combine. Transfer lentils to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.