Spicy Red Lentils

  • Yield 4 servings

Also called Masoor Dal, this is a traditional Indian side dish. Once you get a feel for Indian cooking, the process goes fast.



1 cup split red lentils, rinsed and picked over
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 fresh hot green chili, seeded
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander, for garnish
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, onions, water, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, and chili powder. Heat to boiling, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the garlic, chili, and ginger and process until fine. (Or, you can chop it.)
  3. In a small skillet, heat the ghee or butter over medium heat. Add the garlic mixture and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Stir the garlic mixture, chopped tomatoes, oil and salt into the lentils. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened. Serve garnished with the fresh coriander and sliced tomatoes.

Recipe by Gale Malesky, MS RD



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