Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creamy Tomato-Cashew Lentils

Creamy Tomato-Cashew Lentils
I think I have the toughest taste tester in the world, a five year old daughter who would choose to eat pizza five times a week if I let her.  I'm always searching for ways to introduce new and nutritious foods while still appealing to her palate. 

When I tried cooking lentils this way a few weeks ago and she ate them, I felt like I'd hit the jackpot.  Indian recipes and spices often don't go down well even when I omit the cayenne or chilis.  I’ve made this dish three times now and each time she has eaten and enjoyed it in small amounts.  This is an easy and satisfying way to cook lentils and they taste just as great if not better reheated the day after.  It's very mild, made without any chilis or large amounts of strong spices.  The cashew paste adds a really yummy creaminess that balances out the acidity of the tomato.  I've used brown lentils as well as french lentils - both have been great! 

Creamy Tomato-Cashew Lentils

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon grated ginger

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp dried coriander

¼ tsp turmeric

1 cup lentils

3 cups vegetable stock or water

2 chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweetener)

½ cup raw cashews

1/3 cup water

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the oil on medium high.  Add the ginger, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Stir for about 30 seconds.  Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and sweetener. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

While the lentils are cooking, blend the cashews and water together until fairly smooth. When the lentils are tender, stir the creamy cashew liquid into the pot and heat for a few more minutes.  Season to your taste. 

Serve with rice or grain of your choice.


  1. Lee, Looks delicious and not too hard to make. Glad she's eating it. Very healthy. Looks tasty. I might have to try it I'm glad you have "kid friendly" category; I just noticed it.

  2. (oops, typos so I am reposting!)

    Yummmmy! And I think it's great you are introducing your little taste tester to a variety of flavors. When we were at the fabulous African buffet at Disney World, the kid at the table next to us just ate chicken nuggets and French Fries! So depressing when he had a whole new world of flavors right at his fingertips. I mean, I could see not wanting to spend a lot of money on something the kid wouldn't want to eat, but it's a buffet--it's already paid for, all of it! Sad that he wasn't curious and that his parents didn't try to introduce him to something new. Maggie is lucky to have such an awesome mom to make her such a variety of healthy foods!

  3. Thanks Lisa and Kathryn for your comments! Some days it's more of a struggle than others but the one time she tries and likes something new makes all my failed attempts worth while.

  4. I don't have any kids myself but this sounds like a great recipe to serve when I'm having family with kids over! TNX!