Lentils

Fragrant with cumin and a touch of curry, ginger and garlic, these lentils are flavorful comfort food on a cold evening. This recipe was inspired by Faryal, a Pakistani friend who showed me how to cook her delicious lentils. I also use this recipe for Chana Dall, which is a South Asian yellow lentil.

Ingredients:

2 cups washed lentils

6 cups boiling water

1 Tb olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tb of cumin

½ tsp to taste red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

1 tsp of curry powder

½ tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp grated ginger

several grinds of black pepper

1 tsp salt to taste (after lentils are cooked)

Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large heavy pot. Add a finely chopped onion When onion softens, add cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaf,  curry powder, ginger. and several grinds of black pepper. Heat a few minutes then add 2 cups washed lentils and 6 cups boiling water. Bring to a boil, then turn on low and cover. It should take about an hour. Stir every so often. Keep an eye out to add more water if needed.

Do not add salt until the lentils are fully cooked, as the salt toughens them. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with grated sharp cheddar, if desired. Also good with fresh cilantro. To make lentil soup, add broth to cooked lentils.