The ever-present lentil pure served with rice or chapatis may be made with many different kinds of lentils, but the common and easily available red lentil is perhaps the most popular because it is quick to cook. Other types of lentils should be soaked for a few hours before cooking.
- 250 g (8 oz) red lentils
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
- 2 large onions, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 750 ml (24 fl oz/3 cups) hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masal
Wash the lentils well in several changes of cold water, discarding any that float. Drain the lentils in a sieve. In a heavy saucepan heat the ghee and fry the onions until golden brown. Remove half the onions and set aside for garnish. Add the garlic and ginger and fry a few seconds longer. Add the turmeric and stir, then add the lentils and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the hot water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are half cooked. Add salt and garam masala, mix well and cook until the lentils are soft and purŽed. If the mixture is too liquid, cook uncovered to evaporate some of the water. Serve garnished with the reserved fried onions.