[Eating Rainbow | Yellow | Yellow Lentils]
This recipe for Yellow Lentils with Ginger and Garlic comes from a book that we can’t seem to remove from our very own grip, 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. We love the book — it’s huge and heavy with hundreds of recipes for deeply spiced, soulfully flavored curries — but our therapist told us that sometimes, when you love something that much, you have to let it go.
So we’re giving away the cookbook to one very lucky reader.
And yes, we just might have planned it exactly this way: the book happens to have a yellow cover, which matches this week’s Eating Rainbow theme. We are that good, that coordinated.
To enter for your chance at the cookbook, scroll down and leave a comment with your favorite yellow colored food. You have a few days; we’ll announce a winner some time next week!
Ginger Garlic Lentils
based on a recipe for Gingered Red Lentils from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer
serves 4 as side dishes. or 2 as main dish. or 1 very gluttonous food blogger named Sarah J. Gim
1 cup lentils, picked over
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 2-inch long slices of ginger, coarsely chopped
2 fresh green Thai, cayenne or serrano chiles (we used 1 large jalapeno)
2 tablespoons ghee or canola oil (we used canola oil)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles
1 tomato, cored and finely chopped (we omitted this)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Place the lentils in a medium-sized saucepan. Fill the pan halfway with water, and rinse the lentils by rubbing them between your fingertips, The water will become cloudy. Drain the water. Repeat three or four times, until the water remains relatively clear; drain. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Skim off and discard any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
While the lentil are cooking, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, and fresh chiles in a food processor. Mince the ingredients, using the pulsing action.
Heat the ghee/canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and dried chiles, and cook until the chiles blacken and the seeds turn reddish brown and smell nutty, about 5 to 10 seconds. Immediately add the onion/garlic/ginger/chile blend reduce the heat to medium, and stir-fry until the mixture is light brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato, salt, and turmeric. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato softens and the ghee starts to separate around the edges of the sauce, 3 to 6 minutes, Stir in the cilantro.
Stir the sauce into the cooked lentils. Ladle some of the lentil mixture in to the skillet and stir it around to “wash” it out; add this to the lentils.
Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the flavors mingle, about 5 minutes, then serve.