INDIAN RED LENTIL DAL
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 green chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced (serrano for spicy, jalapeno for more mild)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 medium tomato, diced
Juice of one half a lemon
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1) Place the rinsed lentils in a medium saucepan along with 3 cups of room temperature water. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick; cook for 60 to 90 seconds, until fragrant.
3) Add the onion, green chili pepper, garlic, and ginger; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are turning translucent.
4) Add the turmeric, cardamom, paprika, salt, and tomato to the pan. Cook until the tomato begins to fall apart, about 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
5) Stir the spiced onion mixture into the pot of lentils. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Taste and add salt as needed.
6) Garnish with cilantro; serve with basmati rice and naan.
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