Recipe: Red split lentils with cumin seed

Hey--a food break! Yeah, I thought about making this an instructable, but it's actually from Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook, so I'd feel bad about publishing it on a well-trafficked website like that.

When I made this recipe for the first time a few weeks ago, I asked, "Why the Belgium haven't I made this before?!?!" The tastiness:work ratio is one of the highest for any dish I've made recently. So that's the reason I need to share. You just need a chunk of time (1.5 hours for cooking lentils)--if you're at home and can put it on in the background, it's the way to go. Also, the uncooked red lentils are quite pretty, aren't they?

1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
4-1/3 cups water
2 thin slice of unpeeled ginger (I used 3-4)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Combine; bring to a boil. Simmer for 1-1/2 hours. In the last half hour, give a stir once in a while to prevent sticking.

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Add to lentils at end of cooking

3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil (I used 1-2 T butter)
pinch of ground asafetida, optional
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat ghee or butter in small frying pan. Add asafetida, and cumin seeds; let sizzle for a few seconds. Add remaining spices. Add into lentils; stir to mix.

2 tablespoons cilantro

Garnish on top

Anyway, on a more frustrating note, the thesis is moving along incredibly slowly. I'm at least getting words down on paper/screen, but I am now a full week behind schedule. Also, I found out that I have to have it in one week earlier than I thought: I didn't count the Christmas holiday as a non-working break in my four-week display-and-review period. Ack. I was hoping I'd make up time this coming week, but I have an all-day work event Tuesday, and my parents are coming to visit on Wednesday, which should be a set of entertaining stories in itself.


J.ho recounting cooking red lentils and them turning into mush; this is actually the expected behavior. To wit:

>Open pot
The pot is warm and steamy; there is yellow-orangish mush inside.

>Smell mush
The mush has a spicy aroma of Indian food.

You have: the pot lid, a leaflet, and a Babel fish.

>Eat mush
The mush is salty and tasty, with cumin seed and turmeric.

*** You have died ***


At 9:24 PM, Anonymous christy said...

I generally only post cookbook recipes when I have an interpretation, a simplification, or spin to add. Thus, I posted a recipe from the French Laundry cookbook; I wouldn't bother with Madhur Jaffrey unless it was weird and confusing or I'd done a nice variant.

In this case I'd probably modify for use in a pressure cooker and put the modification online.


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