New This Month

Stewed Lentils with Yogurt, Cucumbers, and Green Chiles


If you think of Indian food as complicated, get ready to be wowed. Stripped down to its barest form, it's easy, healthful, and affordable -- like this vegetarian dish that costs way less than take-out.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: Raymond Hom

Source: Whole Living, October 2010


For the Lentils

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • Kosher salt

For the Garnish

  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 green chile, such as serrano, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

For Serving

  • 4 cups cooked brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Toast cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute, swirling pan. Set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring, until onions are tender, about 6 minutes. Add turmeric and toasted cumin seeds. Cook 1 minute. Add water and lentils. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and partially cover. Cook until lentils are tender and mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare garnish: Combine onion, cucumber, chile, cilantro, and vinegar. Season with salt.

  3. To serve, ladle lentils over rice; top with yogurt and cucumber mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

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