Updated: Apr 28, 2021
Indian food is one of those cuisines that totally intimidates people. I don't know if it's the spices or the unfamiliar types of legumes, but they have so many recipes--like this--that are just one pot and easy to spice up or down.
***That said, the spices in this recipe are an excellent start to building up an Indian spice profile, and pop up in so many applications, including digestive tea***
This is a very simple a soul-nourishing recipe that is my go-to at least once a week. I will often add more water to make it a soup, or serve it over rice or with chapati or any other bread.
Also, if I'm not in the mood to make a veggie side, I'll just throw some into the pot toward the end so they have time to cook (carrots are particularly good, add them about halfway through cooking. Or--like I did in the one pictured--a few handfuls of spinach are amazing right at the end).
1 cup red lentil
2 TB sesame oil
1-inch ginger finally diced
handful of curry leaves (sub out bay leaves if you aren't near an Indian grocer)
1 1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 cups water
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 fennel seeds
cilantro for garnish
Place the red lentils in a bowl and fill with water. Agitate with your hand to release any dirt, then drain through a mesh strain.
In a pot, heat up oil and throw in the ginger and optional herbs until fragrant (usually a minute or less)
Add red lentils and curry leaves and coat
add water & salt
bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-minutes. Add more water as needed. I like mine really soupy!
serve with a splash of lemon and a few cilantro sprigs if using.