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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.


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