Lynne's Indian Red Lentils


Indian spices boost simple lentils to dinner status.

Time: 45-50 mins.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. salt

1 cup dried red lentils

2 Tbs. tomato paste

5 cups vegetable broth

5 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 Tbs. lemon or lime juice

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

6 whole cloves

4 cardamom pods

1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Prepare a toasted spice mixture as follows:

In a dry pan with a heavy bottom, over medium-high heat, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, and cardamom.

Stir for about three minutes until the spices release their fragrance and brown lightly; do not overcook.

Place the toasted spices into a small bowl to cool.

When cooled, grind the spices with a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Add the red chili flakes and cinnamon and stir to combine.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and grated ginger; cook with the onions, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add spices and salt to the mixture in the pot and cook 5 minutes more.

Add 4 cups of water and stir, breaking up any cooked on bits at the bottom of the pot.

Add the tomato paste and lentils; bring the liquid to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, lemon (or lime) juice and the cilantro and stir.

If the mixture seems too thick for your liking, add water

Simmer an additional 10 minutes and taste the lentils.

Adjust seasonings as desired, and if the lentils are not tender enough yet simmer them a little longer.