Moroccan lentils are stewed with tomatoes, garlic, Moroccan spices and olive oil. This version includes the traditional addition of khlea, a type of Moroccan preserved meat. It's essentially the same preparation as Moroccan Lentils with Lamb or Beef. Also see the the Vegetarian Moroccan Lentils recipe.
Lentils purchased in American supermarkets tend to cook faster than Moroccan or Middle Eastern lentils, so adjust the cooking time and amount of liquid if necessary. The cooking time is for a pressure cooker. If simmering in a pot, allow double the time.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 1 lb. (about 500 g) khlea
- 1/3 cup olive oil (or fat from the khlea)
- 2 cups lentils
- 2 or 3 tomatoes, grated
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Pick through the lentils to remove stones and debris. Wash and set the lentils aside.
Cut the strips of khlea into smaller pieces. In a pressure cooker or pot, cook the khlea with the fat or olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring several times.
Add the remaining ingredients with 2 liters (about 2 quarts) of water, and bring to a simmer.
Pressure cooker method. Cover, and cook on pressure over medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the lentils are still submerged in sauce, reduce the liquids so that the sauce is ample, but not watery. Adjust the seasoning if desired, and serve.
Pot method. Cover, and simmer the lentils over medium heat about 1 1/2 hours, or until the lentils are tender and the sauce is not watery. (If the liquids reduce too much during cooking, add a little water to prevent the lentils from burning.) Adjust the seasoning if desired, and serve.
Scoop up the lentils with crusty bread, or eat them with a spoon. The lentils will thicken as they sit. When reheating leftovers, you may want to add a little water.