|Red-lentil dal with fennel slaw and basmati rice.|
Tonight I made a batch for dinner, and it was as simple as this:
- Rinse 1/2 cup red lentils very well, drain and set aside.
- Cook about 1 cup chopped onion in a heavy sauce pan with 1 tablespoon each minced fresh garlic and fresh ginger in a little peanut oil (plus a dab of sesame oil) until the veggies start to brown.
- Stir in an Indian spice mix: I used about 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, turmeric, and Madras curry powder with good shots of dried red-pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Do not salt at this point. I've found lentils cook more tender and with a better flavor if you do not salt until the end.
- Add 2 cups of water (or, in any case, about four times the volume measure of lentils), bring to a gentle boil, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed.
- At the end, stir in 1 tablespoon tomato paste and, finally, 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to blend, warm through, and serve with steaming basmati rice.