Author Notes: Adapted from "The Essential New York Times Cookbook"; original recipe by Mark Bittman. - Amanda Hesser
- 3/4 pounds ground lamb
- 4 cups freshly cooked French green lentils, 1 cup cooking liquid reserved
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 dried ancho or chipotle, soaked in warm water, stemmed, seeded, and minced (or 1 teaspoon pure chile powder)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Minced cilantro, for serving
- Greek-style yogurt, for serving
- Cooked rice or pita, for serving
- Turn the heat to high under a large deep skillet and add the lamb a little at a time, breaking it into small pieces as you do. Stir and break up the meat a bit more, then add the cooked lentils. Keep the high heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils begin to brown and pop, 5 to 10 minutes. Don't worry if the mixture sticks a bit, but if it begins to scorch, lower the heat slightly.
- Add the cumin, chile, and garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the reserved lentil liquid and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook until the mixture is no longer soupy but not dry.
- Stir in the olive oil, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with cilantro if you like, and serve immediately, with yogurt and rice or pita bread.
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