Sunday, December 30, 2007

The New Year and the Lentil

The lentil is a traditional New Year's Day food in Hungary, because it's the symbolism of "Richness, Safety and Money". According to the superstition if we eat lentil on the first day of the year, then we will be nice and richer than last year.


The lentil originates from Asia, but it is used throughout South Asia, the Mediterranean regions and the Middle East. We read about the lentil also in the Bible. Anyone knows the Biblical story about Esau prophet who sold his right-of-first-born for a bowl of lentil stew.

lencse (lentil)

I believe in the superstition of the lentil, therefore I always cook lentil stew (gravy, called it in Hungarian "főzelék") for every New Year's Day :)

Oh the spoon is on the left side :) because I'm left handed. Ok I'm not the best with my hands, but don't worry, I cook well :)

Ingredients for my special lentil stew:

50 dkg lentil (soaked in cold water over night)
40 dkg smoked cooked meat
1 chopped onion
bay leaf
salt (to taste)
1 tbs sugar
half tsp vinegar
1,5 dl sour cream

Ingredients for the roux:

2-3 tbs oil
2 tbs flour
1 tbs mustard
2 clove of garlic


1. Place the chopped onion, and for the lentils pour enogh water to cover it entirely. Let it simmer until lentils are half-cooked.

2. Add the (cooked) smoked meat and marjoram, bay leaf and salt to taste (but be careful because the meat is salty) and cook longer until the lentils are tender.

3. Make a roux: sauté the flour add the press garlics and the mustard. (If necessary add more oil.)

4. Add the roux carefully to the pot and boil.

5. If necessary add more water and add the vinegar and sugar (to taste).

6. Before serving add the sour cream and mix well.

Happy New Year!

I wish you all happy and successful New Year!

1 comment:

Tisha said...

This is great info to know.