Choroko Sauce (Ugandan Vegetarian Stew)

tomatoes, onions, and garlic
1 1/2 c. dried lentils*
2 Tbsp. oil
3 medium tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1/2 c. water

Place beans in a medium saucepan and cover with 1-2 inches of water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook for 20-25 minutes or until beans are very soft, adding more water if needed to keep the beans from sticking.
Drain beans in a colander and place in a medium bowl.  Mash well with a fork.
In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, onions, and garlic and saute until onions are transparent.  Add mashed beans, seasoned salt, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup water; stir.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Serve over rice.

Getting ready to make choroko sauce
*Traditional choroko sauce calls for mung beans.  I don't have any, nor do I know where to get them.  My cookbook says I can substitute split peas ... which are similar to lentils.  So that's how I made choroko with lentils.  It's a little stretch, I know.  But it worked for us.

Rice with Choroko Sauce and a Boiled Egg
It seems that no matter how hard I try, I cannot figure out how to make beans look pretty in a picture.  They are mushy.  They are brown.  They look yellow and unappetizing on camera.  So, if you need to, disregard the picture that I took, and go make yourself the real thing.  As I've said before, this isn't a photography blog, so I'm over it.

Ya'll may remember a year-long project I've been working on called the Year of Food.  Basically, the Rhymeswithsmiles are making the rounds in cultural cuisine.

We started off the year learning about and cooking Indian food (I even have a favorite curry recipe now, and can talk about a vindaloo as if I really know what's going on).  

Then we spent a number of months sampling French food: a lot of omelets and crepes, herbes de provence lavishly sprinkled on everything from potatoes to fowl, and a new covered dutch oven.  Oh, and cheese, baguettes, and wine.  Mustn't forget that.

Now we're transitioning from French food to Ethiopian food ... sorta.  It's been challenging to find cookbooks to fit the bill, so instead we're going to make it "East African food."  This is a flexible experiment.  We make the food rules, so we can change them if we need to.

This was the first of our East African meals.  It was delicious, comforting, and filling.  Yeah, it was simple, but simple is a good thing to work on.

Here's to the downhill slope of the Year of Food!

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