Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins
This is a very tasty recipe for the dry lentils available from the supermarket. I got the original from the 1972 edition of "An Invitation to Indian Cooking" by Madhur Jaffrey, a cookbook that I highly recommend for very satisfying recipes. I have modified it so that it has less fat. I use one tablespoonful here. If you want to use no oil, you could just dry roast the cumin seeds and leave out the asafetida. The seasoning is very mild; you can pump it up by adding more ginger, pepper, cayenne and turmeric.
- 1 lb lentils
- 1 cinnamon stick, 2-3 inches long
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 slices peeled fresh ginger, 1/8 inch thick and 1 inch in diameter
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 pinch of ground asafoetida powder
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
- In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed pot combine the lentils, 6 cups water, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garlic cloves, giner slices and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer gently 40-45 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
- Add the lemon, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Just before serving heat 1 tablespoonful of canola oil in a small skillet over high heat. When it is very hot put in the asafetida and the cumin seeds and fry them until the asafetida expands and the cumin seeds darken. Pour the contents of the skillet into the pot and stir. (If you use no oil, leave out the asafetida).