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Stewed Lentils with Yogurt, Cucumbers, and Green Chiles

Inspired by: Dal with raita. Why it's better: Naturally nutritious and ghee-free.

  • Servings: 4
Stewed Lentils with Yogurt, Cucumbers, and Green Chiles

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 minced fresh ginger
  • 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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