Spicy Red Lentils

  • Yield: 4 servings


1cup split red lentils, rinsed and picked over
3/4cup finely chopped onion
3cups water
1/2teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2teaspoon ground cumin
1/2teaspoon ground coriander
1/2teaspoon chili powder
2cloves garlic, halved
1 fresh hot green chili, seeded
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice
3tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2teaspoons salt
2tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander, for garnish
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, onions, water, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, and chili powder. Heat to boiling, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the garlic, chili, and ginger and process until fine. (Or, you can chop it.)
  3. In a small skillet, heat the ghee or butter over medium heat. Add the garlic mixture and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Stir the garlic mixture, chopped tomatoes, oil and salt into the lentils. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened. Serve garnished with the fresh coriander and sliced tomatoes.

Recipe by Gale Malesky, MS RD