Restaurant Recreation: Longman & Eagle

In this technology world we’re living in, hundreds of thousands of recipes are available to us with just a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a phone. This heightened accessability has become so presumed that when I can’t get a my paws on a certain recipe, disappointment sets in. This most commonly occurs at a restaurant, when I taste something so incredible, I’m saddened be the unattainability of the recipe. What’s a girl to do? For starters, try to recreate the dish, and put my own spin on it. It may never be as good as the real deal, but it’s worth a shot.

A few month back, I was at Chicago restaurant, Longman & Eagle, when one of my relatives gave me a bite of her meal. Her entree was something I probably wouldn’t have ordered myself, yet I was blown away by the Indian spices, the originality of the dish, and the healthy ingredients. With one bite, I knew I had to attempt this one at home. The Black Lentils, with Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onions topped with a Cucumber Raita sauce came together to create a unique vegetarian masterpiece. My tastetesters and I found that a drizzle (or more, depending on how much spice you like) of Sriracha added some necessary heat to kick things up a few notches. The raita, which acts as a cooling agent, perfectly balances out the added spice.

Black Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onions

What You Need

  • 1 cup black lentils, uncooked
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4-6 cups of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup + 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sriracha
  • For the Cucumber Raita
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

What To Do

  1. Cook black lentils according to package directions. When lentils are more than half cooked, add carrots to the pot to cook them with the lentils.
  2. While lentils cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle cauliflower with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower for 20-30 minutes, or until browned.
  3. To caramelize the onions, heat butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan. When butter is melted and pan is very hot, add chopped onions. Spread onions out over the pan, and stir occasionally. Turn heat down and cook onions low and slow for about 30 minutes, or until they are browned. If you find onions have dried out or are on the verge of burning, add a little more oil. At the end of cooking, scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan and mix with the onions for added flavor.
  4. When lentils and carrots have finished cooking, add the caramelized onions to the pot. Stir to combine. Toss onions, lentils and carrots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix in curry powder, turmeric, and salt and pepper to taste. Add an extra tablespoon of olive oil if needed
  5. To make the raita sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Chill until ready to use.
  6. To plate, place a generous bed of lentils in the center of the plate. Top lentils with roasted cauliflower, a drizzle of Sriracha, and a large dollop of cucumber raita.

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