Author Notes: Adapted from Anupy Singla's The Indian Slow Cooker. I've adapted the recipe for the stove, since red lentils cook so quickly. But if you want to use a slow cooker, Singla recommends cooking the lentils on low for 5 1/2 hours and then for another 30 minutes after adding the coconut milk. Also: 1) I've dialed down the spice; free free to add a couple of finely chopped serrano chiles at the beginning. 2) If you don't have curry leaves, don't worry -- it still tastes wonderful. And it freezes beautifully. - Nicholas Day
Makes 11 cups
- 3 cups red lentils (masoor dal)
- 1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes, canned or fresh, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 15 to 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional but worth seeking out)
- 1 14-oz can coconut milk
- In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, coarsely chopped onion, tomatoes, cayenne, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils begin to break down.
- In a frying pan, warm the vegetable oil over medium to high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. Cover the pan and wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add the finely chopped onion and the curry leaves and cook, stirring to prevent the leaves from burning, until lightly browned.
- Add the curry leaf mixture to the lentils along with the coconut milk. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavors have melded.
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