Mum’s Everyday Red Lentils
- 1 cup Red Lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 onion medium
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp ginger root
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 serrano pepper
- ½ tsp cumin seed
- ½ tsp yellow mustard seed
- ½ tsp turmeric ground
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup cilantro
- Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse them under running water.
- Add them to a bowl, cover with water and let soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, the onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chill, if using, and the lentils. DO NOT ADD SALT YET — it will toughen the lentils, thereby lengthening their cooking time.
- Lower the heat, cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer until the lentils are tender, almost translucent, and almost falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Whisk the lentils, releasing its natural starch, and mash some them so the mixture becomes thick. Add salt, to taste.
Tempering Oil (bagaar)
- In a small bowl, combine the cumin and mustard seeds. In another bowl, combine the spice powders. Have all the ingredients ready because this will move very fast!
- In a small skillet, over a medium-high flame, warm 1 tablespoon oil.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add seeds and immediately cover so you don't get covered in spluttering oil and seeds!
- Add the spices.
- They should sizzle and bubble a little – that's the blooming and it's exactly what you want. Don't let them burn.
- The mixture should bloom for about 30 seconds, no more.
- Pour the oil mixture into the lentils, standing back so you don't get hurt when the mixture splutters again.
- Stir to combine.
- Transfer the lentils to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro.