Tomatoes, Fonio and Lentils

In this recipe, I use the trick to have the water from the tomatoes absorbed by some red lentils (lentilles corail) and whole Fonio (which have more or less the same cooking time). This can allow to undertake the whole process in the evening before dinner.

Let the onions, and then the zucchini turn brown in the pan, add the tomatoes, herbs and some salt. After 5 minutes further cooking with cover, the tomatoes let some water out. Add the lentils and fonio. Let cook on low heat for 10 minutes with cover, turning a couple of times in between.


Figure 1. Tomatos, Fresh Onions, Zucchini, Lentils and Fonio.

Note on when to add salt:
When you add some salt, the foods (be they meat, fresh vegetables...) will let out some water through osmosis (a process known in biology as Plasmolysis).

For that reason, I generally add the salt at the end of the cooking process, except some special cases (such as the rice which is a dry food and cooked in water anyway). Here, I add the salt when I want to speed up the process of the tomatoes giving the water necessary to cook the lentils and fonio.