1 ½ cups red lentils, picked over and washed
4 cups vegetable stock or water, plus more if needed
¼ t. cayenne (or to taste)
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground cinnamon
¼ t. ground cardamom
½ t. ground coriander
½ t. ground cumin
½ t. black pepper
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 T. butter (or oil)
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. minced ginger
Garnish: chopped cilantro

Combine lentils, liquid, spices (cayenne through black pepper) and a bit of salt and pepper to taste in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and partially cover with a lid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and beginning to turn to mush, around 30 minutes. Add additional liquid if necessary. The mixture should be moist but not soupy.

When the lentils are nearly done, heat the 2 T. butter / oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (2-3 minutes). Stir the garlic-ginger mixture into the lentils. Serve, garnished with chopped cilantro.

Makes 4-5 servings.

Chef’s Notes: The red lentils may be substituted with green split peas or yellow mung beans.

Recipe credit: Mark Bittman

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