One of my favorite things about my recipe collection is that I can look through the recipes and think about the person who gave it to me. This one is from a co-worker in a past life of mine and I think of her every time I make it. She would often eat this for lunch where I would covet it. Guess that meant it was time to get the recipe and make it myself.
My daughter has loved this dinner for her whole life. I always thought it was an odd flavor combination for a little American with blue eyes to like...but I'm glad that she enjoys it.
I am going to warn you...don't cut down on the oil or the salt in this recipe. It really needs to have both in full quantities to taste good. I did omit the salt when I used leftover chicken broth one time..but otherwise use a scant teaspoon..any less and it really loses flavor.
3/4 t whole cumin seeds (I didn't have seeds this time so I used ground and it was fine)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 med onion, chopped
1 c washed lentils
3 c water
1 t. salt
1/4 t cayenne
1/2 t turmeric
1" cube peeled fresh ginger
Heat oil and add onion and stir until starting to get soft. Add garlic and cumin and stir until just starting to brown. When just starting to brown add turmeric, cayenne, and salt. Add lentil, ginger and water and simmer for about an hour.
I will usually make this a bit ahead and then put rice in the rice cooker before swim practice. We come home, and I heat the lentils and serve them over rice with mango chutney.
This recipe adapts well to additional vegetables or more water (or broth) to be served as a soup. It doubles well but I usually just make one recipe at a time so we don't get tired of it!