4 (3)

Sides, Vegetarian

Lemon lentils

Lemon lentils
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: Some years ago you published Ismail Merchant's lemon lentils. In the mess of installing a new refrigerator, my copy has come up missing. William Teagardin Manhattan Beach Dear William: This is from a 1994 story about Merchant, the ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours | Serves 5 to 6
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pound masoor dal (orange lentils), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped ginger root
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 serrano chile or jalapeno, chopped, with seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Step 1Heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. Add the cinnamon, dal and ginger. Cook, stirring often, 10 minutes. Add the stock, 2 cups of water, the cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over the lentils. Cook until the lentils begin to break down, 50 minutes. Stir often. Add up to 1 cup more water, if needed.

Step 2Heat the remaining oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, chile and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, until the onion is browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add to the lentils and stir. Remove the bay leaves. Turn into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro.


Bittersweet hot fudge sauce
Bittersweet hot fudge sauce

Mango and shrimp salad
Mango and shrimp salad

Chocolate sparkle cookies
Chocolate sparkle cookies

Mixed Vegetable Pickle
Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Have a specific question about a recipe or found a problem? Let us know at food@latimes.com

More recipes in Sides

Mac 'n' cheese
New potatoes with sage
Black beans
Mexican Green Rice