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Indian Lentils

In India, lentils and rice are everyday foods for millions of people. Lentils are inexpensive, nutritious, and can be prepared in a a multitude of ways. Enjoy these flavorful lentils with carrot rice pilaf, chapatis, and a mango fruit salad.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed or ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground red chile
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans lentils
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cumin and sauté until fragrant, but not brown. Add the chile and coriander and stir for 20 seconds more.
  2. Stir in the lentils with their juice, tomatoes, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the heat and cover.
  3. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. Traditionally, lentils are spooned over rice and served in bowls.

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