Indian cuisine is vegetable heaven. A culture that has so many vegetarians has of course created some of the very best vegetable recipes. Two or three of the dishes in this chapter, combined with some saffron rice, make an exciting and satisfying meal.
You can use one of several kinds of lentils in this recipe. The more expensive French green variety retain their firm contours, yet absorb the spices well. Brown lentils or Indian red lentils cook very quickly but lose their shape. Aesthetics may be the only deciding factor.
Cover the lentils (by about
Heat the butter or oil in a large sauté or skillet pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender and sweet, about 10 minutes. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, garlic, jalapeños, lemon zest, and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes. Fold in the lentils, add lemon juice to taste, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. You may need to add a little water. Then add the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
© 1992 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.