A simple to make, if slow, simple dish. I eat it as a hot side
dish, add something for crunch to make a hot soup, or cold as a cracker
dip. Today's lunch was the hot soup version with some (packaged, store
bought) fried onion for crunch. I adapted this from an old Madhur Jaffrey
cookbook. There she basically says "Here's the how, adapt the spices to
your taste." I'm going to pass that recommendation on to you.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1" to 2" ginger
In a suitably sized sauce pan, start heating the water on full heat.
While that's happening, give the lentils a good rinse to wash the dust
off, it helps reduce the froth, then add to the heating water. Peel the
ginger and cut into three or four good size hunks and toss those in the
When it starts to boil, skim off the foam on the surface. Add
- 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
Give it a good stir to mix in the tumeric, lower the heat to a
simmer, put a lid mostly on, but leave a crack for some steam to
escape. Then let that go for an hour to ninety minutes. If the heat is
too high and the water has boiled off, add some more hot water to make
it soupy. (And adjust the heat.) You can pretty much ignore it during
After hour to ninety minutes you can fish out and discard the ginger.
Get a small fry pan heating.
- a teaspoon or so of oil
- a teaspoon of whole cumin
- a teaspoon or two of crushed red pepper
- a pinch of asafoetida powder (aka "hing")
Add the oil, let it heat a bit, then add the cumin, wait a few
seconds and add the red pepper and asafoetida. Stir it in the pan
a bit to get all the spices covered in oil and lightly toasted. The
asafoetida may smell a lot, it really needs just five or ten seconds
in the oil. The others thirty to sixty seconds. Then add the hot
oil and spices to the lentils. Maybe add
- a teaspoon or so corriander powder
- a teaspoon or so salt
to the lentils as well. Stir to mix the spices in, turn off heat.
As a side, it's done now. As a soup I feel it needs something more.
I've used crumpled crackers, broken chakli, crunchy fried
onions, chopped cashews, etc.
Left over cold I use it as dip/spread for crackers. Or it can be
reheated to be a sidedish / soup again. Easily made a day or two in
It's boring and simple looking, so no photo.