Now, I am about to share with you a recipe for yellow lentils that is absolutely simple. absolutely affordable. abso-freaking-lutely delicious.
I was fortunate to spend New Year’s weekend with Mom Eat and the rest of my little family. Tonight, I am feasting on a bowl of soft white rice, soaked in yellow lentils and Indian butter (ghee) thanks to her.
Growing up, a warm bowl of lentils and rice always made everything better. Sure, macaroni and cheese did too, but there were some nights I just wanted a taste of one of Mom Eat’s food stars, yellow dal (lentil soup).
And, now I can share those lentils with you.
First, rinse approximately three cups of orange lentils (I know, I know but they turn yellow later, don’t worry) in luke warm water. Stir the lentils around and rinse them off. I am not certain why we do this but we do and it takes little to no effort so do it. You never know. If you don’t you might turn purple or something. Just kidding.
Next, put the lentils in a completely totally it won’t break apart microwave safe dish and add 3 cups of water (any temp). Add a pinch of salt and stir. Microwave the lentils for 20 minutes (you can do this on the stove if you are microwave unfriendly, just stir the lentils occasionally over medium heat until they soften).
Then, boil three small tomatoes (or peel them). Whichever you do, get the skins off. I just don’t like the tomato skins in my lentils. Maybe I’m just being difficult.
Now, chop a handful of cilantro, about a 1/2 inch of ginger and 5-6 cloves of garlic.
In a large pot, saute all of this, with the chopped tomato in a tablespoon of sunflower oil (or cooking oil of choice), 1/2 tsp of salt (you can add more to taste), 1 tbsp of cumin (less if you are not a gigantic cumin fan) and 1 heaping teaspoon of turmeric (it fights infections and gives everything a pretty golden color, how can you not love it). Sunflower oil adds light flavor without overpowering the other tastes.
Then, after 2-3 minutes of sauteeing, pour your cooked lentils into the pot. (there might be a little water in there or the lentils might be dry-either way, you are fine). Add 3 cups of water and simmer on low to medium heat depending on the strength of your range for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils blend into the water and it just looks like you want to eat it. now.
Put a big scoop of cooked white rice in a bowl. Pour your lentils on. Add a teaspoon of ghee (Indian butter) or any butter of your choice. You can top with slightly fried onions, more fresh cilantro, and/or fresh ground black pepper. Whew. I’m hungry.