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Also spelled daal, dhal or dahl, these slow-cooked red lentils make a rich and flavorful side dish, a mainstay of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi cuisine. Since it's an everyday dish for some many people, it has myriad preparations. Here's one:

1 T. olive oil or vegetable oil
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 knob ginger root
1 tsp. curry
1 c. lentils
4 c. water, or veggie or chicken broth

Chop the onions while oil heats in a thick-bottomed, deep-sided pot. Saute the onions for 5 minutes stirring often. Meanwhile, mince garlic, peel and slice the ginger.

Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add curry and cook for 1 minute. Add lentils and stir for 1 minute. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer the daal until the water reduces and the lentils break down to a rather smooth porridge, about one hour, stirring often to prevent burning.

optional seasonings:
1 hot chili pepper, chopped
1 chipotle, chopped (i like the smoky flavor it imparts).

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