It seems mine and Eric’s tastes are constantly evolving. I find we’re both more open to trying new dishes than we would have been one or two years ago. This dish is a perfect example of that. I can’t believe we only recently tried Indian cuisine for the first time. I feel like we’ve been missing out! Now that we’ve made this dish, I foresee us making many more Indian recipes in the future.
I can’t tell you how authentic this dish is, but I can tell you that it tastes absolutely amazing. The lentils have a wonderfully earthy flavor, and the dish is incredibly comforting. I don’t think there’s a way to go wrong when crushed tomatoes and cream are involved. There’s just a bit of subtle heat to this dish, which, along with the fresh ginger, helps cut through the creaminess and richness. This dish requires very little work, but ends up tasting like something that cooked all day. It’s perfect for chilly nights and can be served with rice or naan.
The original recipe called for about half a can of crushed tomatoes, but I ended up using the entire thing. I noticed the dish drying out a bit and decided to add the rest of the tomatoes instead of water. I thought the lentil to tomato ratio was spot on and loved the flavor and texture the extra crushed tomatoes provided. For the lentils, I used a combination of red and green, but I think black lentils are more traditional. However, any type of lentil would be fine for this dish, so use what you can find.
1 cup dry lentils
1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
-In a large saucepan, add lentils and enough water to cover by two inches. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, until lentils are open and tender. Drain and return to pot.
-Using a wooden spoon, stir lentils around pot, using spoon to mash some against the side of the pot. Add tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cayenne, water, butter, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about an hour, or until thickened. Periodically check to make sure the water has not cooked out. If so, add a bit more and cover pot for remaining cooking time.
-Stir in cream, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
Adapted from Steamy Kitchen