This recipe is adapted from Vij's Indian Cuisine Cookbook. These orange lentils make a delicious curry served with brown rice and tamarind chutney (available at the Asian Market).
1 cup of orange lentils (available at Common Market bulk section)
6 c water
1 T salt
1 t tumeric
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 t asafoetida (available at Common Market)
1 T cumin seeds
3/4 c finely chopped onions
1 T finely chopped ginger
1 c finely chopped tomatoes
1/4-1/2 t ground cayenne (depending on how hot you want it)
2 c of packed chopped baby spinach
3/4 c finely chopped cilantro
Lentils: Sift through lentils to remove stones and then wash under cold water a few times. Place lentils, water, salt and turmeric in a large pot, covered and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, leave a 1 inch slit so steam can escape (to prevent lentils from foaming over) and cook for 5-8 minutes. Cover pan completely and cook lentils for another 30 minutes.
Masala: While lentils cook heat butter and oil on medium-high heat in shallow pan until butter is melted. Add asafoetida and let sizzle for 20 seconds, then add cumin seeds and let sizzle for 20 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and stir in onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes. Add ginger, tomatoes, and cayenne and sauté, stir regularly for 5 minutes until oil glistens on top.
Once lentils are finished cooking add the masala and while still hot stir in the spinach. Add the cilantro just before serving.
Serve over brown rice.
In a small bowl mix 1 T tamarind chutney with 2 T water and drizzle a small amount over individual bowls of curry.