Also known as crimson lentils, red lentils are small, round legumes with a light pink color, that unlike most other legumes cook faster since their exteriors are soft and easy for water to penetrate. Rich in slow-digesting carbohydrates and dietary fiber and folate (a vitamin our body needs to create new cells and produce iron), they keep you full longer, reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and constipation.
Growing we used to have red lentils mostly when Sambar was on the menu. Otherwise it would give place to more predominantly used Pigeon Peas (Arhar dal). When I started living on my own and finally took up the cudgels of catering to my nutrition is when I started looking up for healthy options and discovered that red lentils have so much more to themselves. Its been my pantry staple ever since.
Today’s dish a red lentil special that we all love in our family. Its not spiced with the usual cumin+onion+mustard tempering but a little different that what you will find on a regular basis. I especially love the hefty punch of garlic in it, and the hint of tang because of the sambar masala. You’ll love this complete package of nutrition and flavors just as much as we do!
Garlic Infused Red Lentil Curry
Red Lentils – 1 cup
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 small, diced
Garlic – 8-1- cloves, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 7-8
Green Chillies – 2 small, sliced along the length
Cumin – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Sambar masala – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking
Wash and soak the red lentils for 10 minutes, and cook in a pressure cooker on medium for 1 whistle adding turmeric and salt. You can also cook in a deep dish vessel until they’re cooked. Once done, set it aside.
In a skillet/flat pan, heat a tsp of oil and add the green chillies on low flame. Let the chillies brown up and then add the mustard, cumin, curry leaves, onion, garlic, tomato one after the other, in the same order as said. Keep stirring on medium flame as you add one ingredient after the other. Once the tomato is added in the let it cook till the tomato is mush.
Now add the cooked red lentil into this tempering mixture, pour a cup of water and mix well. Let it simmer on low for 2-3 minutes, then add the sambar masala, turn the flame to high, bring to a boil and turn of heat immediately.
Garnish with some cream (optional) and some curry leaves.
Enjoy with pita bread or rice or on its own!