Gingered Red Lentils with Garlic and Spinach

September 15th, 2011 by Erin Gennow
Gingered Red Lentils with Garlic

Gingered Red Lentils with Garlic

Gingered Red Lentils with Garlic and Spinach

Adapted from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer

This is another quick cooking, easy weeknight curry dish that makes a lot and uses mainly everyday, common pantry ingredients.  It makes a lot and is a perfect meal when served with brown rice.  I like adding some sautéed spinach on top or on the side to get some more vegetable in the meal.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 8 servings


1 cup split red lentils (masoor dal)

1 small red onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and chopped

2 fresh green Thai chiles, or Serrano chiles, or to taste

2 tablespoons Ghee

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 dried red Thai chiles

1 tomato, finely chopped

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

12 ounces fresh spinach, for sautéing separately


Food processor


Mise en Place for Gingered Red Lentils

Mise en Place for Gingered Red Lentils

Rinse the 1 cup split red lentils well in cold water until the water runs clear.

Add the 1 cup split red lentils to a pot and add 3 cups water.  Bring the lentils to a boil over medium heat.  Once they reach a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

While the lentils cook and the chopped onion, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons chopped ginger, and the fresh chiles into the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until the ingredients are minced.  Alternatively, if you do not have a processor you can mince everything by hand.

Add 2 tablespoons Ghee to a medium skillet.  Melt the ghee over medium-high heat.  When the ghee is melted add the 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and the 2 dried Thai chiles to the skillet and cook about 10 seconds, until the cumin seeds are reddish-brown and the chiles blacken.  Now add in the onion mixture from the food processor.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook the ingredients for about 5 minutes.

Sauteed Onions, Ginger, and Garlic

Sauteed Onions, Ginger, and Garlic

Now add the chopped tomato, 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric to the onion mixture in the skillet.  Cook the onion and spice mixture for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened.  Stir in the ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro.

When the lentils have cooked for 20 minutes and are soft add the vegetable/spice mixture to the lentils.  If some vegetable/spice mixture sticks to the skillet add a bit of water and scrape it up with a wooden spoon to deglaze.  Add this liquid to the lentils as well.

Cook the lentils with the added vegetable/spice mixture for another 5 minutes so the flavors combine.

Serve with brown rice and Sautéed Spinach on top.

A year ago on The Daily Morsel


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