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Also known as dal, or daal, curried lentils are a great thing to know by heart to make from scratch. They're nutritious, flavorful and as easily adaptable to suit your taste. As you can see from all my ingredient notes below, I just used the recipe as a guide and utilizing what i had on-hand in the kitchen.
I adapted this one from The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt published back in 1972. I especially love the trinity of onions, garlic and ginger. I also had some rocking daal at a friend's house that she found in A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen
1/4 cup oil (i did half olive oil, half butter)
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot. Chop and saute the onions until tender. Stir in the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a minute and then stir in the tomatoes.
Add the lentils and salt and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add water to cover the lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and allow to cook on low for over an hour, stirring occasionally.
The lentils should breakdown into a nice, rough puree.