Green Lentils With Garlic & Onion (Madhur Jaffrey)

"This is a super-easy, flavourful, and delicious recipe that can be served warm, cold, or room temperature. It's from Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking". Recipe can be doubled or tripled. I like using French green lentils. You can also use chicken or vegetable broth instead of the water."
photo by WicklewoodWench photo by WicklewoodWench
photo by WicklewoodWench
Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • Heat oil in a heavy pot over a medium flame. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. A few seconds later, put in the garlic. Stir and fry until the garlic pieces turn a medium brown colour. Now put in the onion. Stir and fry until the onion pieces begin to turn brown at the edges. Put in the lentils and the water. Bring to the boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour or until lentils are tender. (Nearly all of the liquid should have been absorbed, but watch that it doesn't turn completely solid.)
  • Add the salt and the cayenne. Stir to mix and simmer gently for another 5 minutes.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Rainingoutside
    Add ginger while cooking garlic and onion. Add vermouth 1/2 way through simmering. Extra rich. More options. Good base recipe with lots of room to experiment. Recommend.
  2. WicklewoodWench
    I made this for a tag game, and although not the most attractive dish, it certainly was tasty. We had it as a side yesterday and although delish I decided to keep some back for another dish, perhaps using to stuff some peppers. Today, I have just had some for lunch in a spicy onion wrap with some salad, the spices have mellowed and it tastes even better,,,,unfortunatly, there is none left for those peppers.
  3. charlotteharrod1
    Amazing flavor! I've made this several times already. I had to triple or more the amount of cumin, if I hadn't it would've been pretty flavorless... That being said I used cumin powder and not cumin seeds. I also used chicken stock instead of water.
  4. Heather W.
    This recipe is so easy and so good. I've made it three times in the last four weeks. I signed up specifically so I could leave a five-star review for this recipe! Also, I made some cashew cream and added it on top. It's delicious. I've tweaked it a bit and subbed out half of the onion with carrot and added a can of diced tomatoes instead of some of the water. But it's absolutely delicious as is, too.
  5. Kat S.
    My husband bought green lentils so I was looking for a good and easy recipe. I stumbled across this one and it turned out absolutely delicious. I used vegetable broth instead of the water and served it over rice.


  1. Chris Wilson UK
    I recommend using one cup of stock and one cup of white wine instead of the 3 cups of water.
  2. ladydidi82
    So good and so delicious! One of my families favorite. I add chicken broth instead of water and serve it over white rice.


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