At the top of this well-worn recipe sheet is my comment, “So good!” This humble dish is as brightly flavored as its color is. Plus it is simple to make and cooks in about 15 minutes. I topped mine with a dollop of plain yogurt but for a vegan preparation omit this dairy product. I also like a squirt of sriracha so if you are looking for a slightly sweet zing I would recommend the sriracha.
Our kitchen team, John and I, made short work of the prep. John was in charge of measuring out the spices, lentils, and broth. I made short work of the onions, garlic, and ginger by using my mini-prep food processor. (I really love how well it chops up ginger and garlic!) After only 15 minutes of simmering the lentils were tender and we were sitting down to dinner.
Since our daughter loves this dish too we made a double recipe. All of us had a small second helping which unfortunately means there is almost none leftover for lunch today!
Afghani Dal (red lentils with ginger)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 finely chopped medium onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
1 cup red lentils
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
Optional yogurt, sriracha
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin, cayenne and let them cook in the pan briefly and then add the lentils and broth, stir and turn the heat up to high. When the liquid boils, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook until the lentils are very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and adjust salt if needed. Serve with an optional spoonful of plain yogurt, a drizzle of sriracha, and rice, greens, warm pita or naan.