Serves: 8 to 10
- 1 cup split red lentils Add to list
- 2 cups water Add to list
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil Add to list
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds Add to list
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds Add to list
- 5 fenugreek seeds Add to list
- 1 hot chile pepper Add to list
- 1 medium onion, diced Add to list
- 8 cloves garlic, finely minced Add to list
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger Add to list
- 1 teaspoon turmeric Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin Add to list
- 1 teaspoon paprika Add to list
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced Add to list
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped Add to list
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems Add to list
- Juice of 1 lemon Add to list
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt Add to list
- 2 cans red kidney beans, drained Add to list
Add lentils to a medium-size pot, cover with water and simmer over medium heat until they become tender. While lentils are simmering, heat oil in a large pot over high heat with mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Cover pot and heat until mustard seeds complete popping sounds. Quickly add chile pepper. Let chile roast in the hot oil, then add the onion, garlic and ginger. The chile then can be removed if desired.
Lower heat to medium and stir well. Let the onion become translucent; add turmeric, coriander, cumin and paprika. Stir well and let the dry spices release their essence into the oil. Take care not to let them burn (if needed, add more oil to prevent burning). Next add the fennel bulb and sauté for a few minutes.
Add tomatoes, cilantro stems (reserve the leaves for garnish), and lemon juice. Allow tomatoes to reduce down and form a paste with the onions. This will take a few minutes and will form the base of your curry. Season with salt. It’s important you don’t leave the stove. Watch the pot for signs of burning and constantly stir the mixture. If the mixture starts to dry out, add small amounts of water.
When the mixture reaches a thick consistency and dark red color, add the cooked lentils. Stir well, letting lentils incorporate into the curry base. At this point add the kidney beans. For a soupier consistency, add more water.
Recipe by, former PCC Cooks instructor
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