This is one of my favorite lentil dishes; however, I am the only one in the house that will eat it so every few months I make a big batch of it and freeze it in individual serving sizes so that I can have some for lunch every few weeks. The sweetness of the squash balances the earthiness of the lentil and the heat of the spices making a melody in the mouth.
1 1/2 cups brown Lentils (I have some red and yellow that I am going to try next time)
1 can (15ozish) crushed tomatoes or while tomatoes, chopped
1 small butternut squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion , finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon group turmeric
1 tablespoon harissa (thank you Warda) or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
salt & pepper
wash the lentils and pick trough them to be sure that there are no little stones. Place in a saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, skim off any scum, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes and then drain.
Meanwhile, peel, seed and dice the squash into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
In a large pan, over low heat, add oil and onion and cook onion until they are caramelized. Add garlic and cook for a few seconds and then add the spices. cook for 30 seconds, then add tomato, tomato paste, sugar and half of the parsley salt and pepper. Add the lentils and squash, stir well and cover and simmer until squash and lentils are done, about 20 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
Serve in a beautiful bowl topped with the rest of the parsley. If you like cilantro you may use that for half of the parsley, I do not like it.