Wash and rinse the lentils several times in warm water, then drain. Sauté the peeled and sliced onions in the sesame oil over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until they become soft. Add the lentils, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, peel the ginger and dice it finely; add this to the lentils with the lime leaves and the lemon grass after bashing the grass a bit to release its aroma and oils. Peel and cut the garlic cloves finely and add to the simmering lentils with the seasonings; continue to cook for 30 minutes, making sure the lentils don’t dry out at all. Cooking time will depend on the type of lentil you have chosen, so test from time to time. When just soft, remove from the heat and stir in the coarsely chopped basil, check for seasoning and it’s ready.
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.