I sadly don’t have a houseboy to feed me three daily meals and a cocktail every 6pm (followed by footrubs and fanning, or something), but occasionally the bf will cook a dinner that I, too, am allowed to eat.  Since we’re both relatively broke hippies, we’re into beans and bean-type foods. We also dig spices. Indian recipes fulfill these mutual desires rather nicely.

J got this recipe from The Minimalist (Mark Bitman’s NYT column), but it’s quickly become his own after being made about 30 thousand times in the last month alone. I like to eat the leftovers fresh out of the fridge and unheated for breakfast, scooped onto some toast or pita. It’s also great  right off the stove, spooned with a side of basmati rice or buttery naan.

J’s Dal

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 heaping tbsp chopped garlic (J uses more, but this is what the original recipe asks for)
  • 1 heaping tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • a chunk of butter or ghee (like maybe 1 tbsp?)
  • salt to taste (J always forgets this part, to my shagrin)
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
  1. Throw lentils, water, garlic, ginger, cloves and mustard seeds into a pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer until cooked. You may have to add some more water, depending on the consistency you’re looking for. This whole process takes about 15 minutes.

2. Brown the onions in a separate pan (yeah, that’s a ladle in the photo. It’s the multi-tasker of kitchen utensils, ‘kay?)

3. Add the butter chunk, onions, and salt to the cooked lentils.

4. Fish out those cloves, and dole into bowls. Garnish with cilantro if you want. (I want!)

J thinks this is the easiest recipe in the world, and it also happens to be quite tasty. While fresh ingredients are probably best, J always keeps jars of minced garlic and chopped ginger in the fridge, and these work great.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our lazy bums do!