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Spiced Lentils

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
450 g red lentils
4 cups (1 litre) 1 3/4 pint water
1/2 tsp sea salt or 1 tsp table salt
1 onion
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp crushed ginger root or ground ginger
3 tomatoes
2 whole cardamoms
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
a pinch of chilli powder

for the garnish

chopped fresh coriander leaves
finely chopped or grated onion

method

1. Put the lentils into a large pan and cover with the water and salt.

2. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30-45 minutes until tender. Drain and put to one side.

3. Meanwhile, skin and chop the onion, and mix with the turmeric and ginger.

4. Chop the tomatoes, and crush the cardamoms in a pestle and mortar, or grind in a coffee or nut mill.

5. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan, add the onion, ginger and turmeric, and fry gently until soft and lightly browned.

6. Add the tomatoes and all the remaining ingredients, and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time.

7. Remove from the heat.

8. Add the lentils to the mixture in the pan, and mix thoroughly to coat them with oil.

9. Replace over moderate heat, and cook until well heated through and quite mushy.

10. Serve very hot, sprinkled with the coriander leaves and onion.

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