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The Spice Kitchen
by Katie Luber & Sara Engram

Lentils are delicious and nutritious This curried version calls for red lentils, but you can substitute other kinds as well. These lentils are a good side dish, but they can also serve as a main course for a meatless meal.
Serves 6


    • 1 medium onion (any variety), finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon ground mild chile pepper
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
    • 2 cups water
    • 1½ cups dried red lentils (10 ounces)
    • 1 (13- to 14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 lb zucchini (2 medium, cut into 1/4-inch dice)
    • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro sprigs, for garnish
    • Steamed Basmati rice, for serving


Saute the onion in the oil in a 3½- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the edges are golden, about 6 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, chile pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in the water, lentils, and coconut milk. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the zucchini, cover the pot again, and simmer until the lentils and zucchini are tender, about 15 minutes for red lentils (cooking times may vary with other types of lentils).

Season with salt and serve with cilantro sprigs scattered on top. Serve with rice.


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