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Friday, June 19, 2009

Papa's Indian Lentils

This is something I grew up eating. I was blessed with 2 parents that each cook extraordinarily from 2 different cultures. Lucky me!
This seems like a lot of effort, but it really isn't! If your spice rack is full, you probably have most of these ingredients on hand. I always keep a piece of ginger root in my freezer too. As well as being a crowd pleaser, its cheap (if you already have the spices) because a bag of lentils is usually around $1, and this makes 6 hearty servings that are heart healthy, and have plenty of protien.


2- cups Green Moong beans (I used yellow split peas.. you can use any lentil)
½ inch Fresh Ginger (use a cheese grater and grate 1/2 inch off your root directly over pot)
2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
2 teaspoons Mustard seeds
2 – 3 tablespoons EVOO
1 teaspoon or more Chili powder
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinammon
1 cup Natural Yogurt (you can use non fat)
5 cloves minced Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt or to taste
2 Limes cut into pieces
Hot pepper flakes if you like it spicy
Green onions and Cilantro to garnish
1 1/4 cup BASMATI rice, cooked ( I don't ever use any other rice)

1. Soak the lentils overnight in 6 cups of water (I always skip this step because I'm lazy and I haven't found it useful)
2. Drain/rinse lentils. Place them in a slow cooker (crock pot) add 6 cups of water or half the pot. Set the cooking temperature to low and let it cook all day or 8 hours.
Cook your split peas or lentils in 6 cups water on stove bringing to a boil and then simmering on low heat until tender (about 20 minutes)
3. Add yogurt, ginger, salt and stir it thoroughly.
4. In a separate small pan high heat oil and add cumin and mustard seeds and wait until it crackles. You know when the oil is hot enough if you throw 1 cumin seed and it cracks. This is the tricky step, because if the oil is too hot, your mustard seeds will start popping like popcorn, so wear an apron, or have a lid for a shield.. and tell your kids to leave the kitchen.
5. Add garlic, chili powder, cinammon, and turmeric, wait for 30 seconds on high heat and then pour everything on lentils.
6. Stir it thoroughly, serve over rice, garnish with green onions, cilantro and lime.

Eric likes his on a plate. I like mine in a bowl.. kind of like chili =)
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  1. OMG! YUM!! I need to catch up. Been so busy, plus with Russ being gone... no one to cook for.

  2. I am going to try this one this week! :)