Sour Lentils or Čočka na kyselo is one of the simpler dishes of Czech cuisine. Sour lentils are usually served with fried eggs (sunny side up), pickles, and roasted sausage, klobasa, or thick-sliced ham.
The ingredients for sour lentils are minimal—cooked green (or brown) lentils with bay leaves, mixed with a simple roux, and seasoned with salt, vinegar, and a pinch of sugar.
Sour Lentils Recipe
- 1 bag lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp butter or lard
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp – 1/4 cup white vinegar (your taste preference)
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional – small chopped onion
Sort the lentils and rinse them several times with water. Put them into a pot and cover them with cold water. Give them a few hours to soak.
Using the soaking water turn the stove onto low heat, add two bay leaves, cover, and cook until they are soft, about an hour checking and stirring every 10 minutes or so to make sure there is still water in the pan.
In a small frying pan, melt the butter or lard and mix in the flour to make a light roux. If using the onion, fry it in the lard or butter before adding the flour, and then sprinkle the flour onto the golden fried onion.
Strain the water from the lentils and it to the roux, cook it briefly to thicken and bring it to a boil. Return this mixture to the lentil pot and stir.
Flavor the sour lentils with vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper to your taste.
You’ll want to eat your sour lentils immediately. As they sit, the vinegar makes the lentils taste somewhat bland. Therefore, you want to share with your friends and eat it when prepared. ;)
You can split the sour lentils into two parts and only flavor the part you will eat immediately.
When you reheat the second part (usually the next day) you can add the season when it’s reheating.
A hearty plate of sour lentils is another Czech classic that is relatively simple to make.
It’s delicious with hearty Czech-style bread as well.
Czechs eat sour lentils on New Year’s Day to bring luck for the new year which you can read about it New Year’s Eve and Lentils.
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