Do this, but slightly less ginger :)


  • 3 cups red lentils (we just used green last time), cleaned and washed
  • 9 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil (I prefer grapeseed)
  • inch of asafoetida or hing (optional) (we didn’t do this)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 medium white or red onion, finely diced (1 cup)
  • 1 pinch of coarse white sea salt
  • 1/4 cup grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 2-3 Thai chiles, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2-3 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons red chile powder
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped cilantro


  1. Add lentils and water to a roomy and heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. I cooked mine uncovered and kept an eye on it to make sure it does not overflow. At first, you’ll see a white harmless film form over the lentils. Just scrape it off and discard, and continue to boil until the lentils are soft. Once finished, turn the heat off and put a lid on the pan. Let the lentils sit while you finish the tarka.
  2. Make the tarka, basically a tempering in Indian cooking. This is where our lentils get all their flavor. Take a saute pan, and heat your ghee or oil over medium-high heat. Add asafoetida, cumin and turmeric. Cook about 40 seconds until the seeds start to sizzle and turn a slightly reddish color.
  3. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Mix every few minutes and cook 2 – 3 minutes until the onion browns slightly. The salt draws out moisture and helps the onion brown.
  4. Add ginger, garlic, and chiles. Cook for another few minutes.
  5. Add garam masalacoriander, and red chile. Mix well and cook another 20 second or so. Always be cautious adding powdered spices, as they can easily burn at this stage.
  6. Take this mixture and carefully add to the cooked lentils. Stir well.
  7. Add salt and cilantro. Mix well and serve over rice, with roti or naan, or as a soup. At this point you can also pull out the immersion blender or whisk and blend it down a little. We prefer to eat it slightly chunky.

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