This Indian lentil curry is incredibly easy to prepare and a good one for cooks just learning about Indian spicing. All of the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocer and you can experiment with the quantity of spices used to come up with different flavour profiles and heat levels. It’s a healthy and economical dish that won’t have you sweating over a hot stove, freeing up time to spend outdoors.
If you’re like me and stick to dried legumes instead of buying canned ones, this is also an ideal dish because if you forget to soak your beans the night before, lentils are a good meal solution as typically you don’t need to soak them. Try this earthy and slightly tangy curry for your next meatless meal.
Indian-Style Lentil Curry
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 large tomato, finely chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups green or brown lentils, rinsed
- juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, and stir for 5 to 8 minutes or until the onion begins to brown. Toss in the cumin seeds, ground coriander, turmeric and cayenne, and continue to stir and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomato, simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the water and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 1 hour or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender. Stir occasionally, adding more water if necessary.
Stir in the lemon juice and salt, heat for another minute or two.
Serve hot or warm as a side, or a light main along with hot rice and some Indian flatbreads, such as [highlight]Savory Rice and Urad Dal Pancakes[/highlight] or [highlight]Chapatis[/highlight], for a complete and satisfying meal.
Yields 4 main or 6 to 8 side servings