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Cooking Indian food seems impressive.  And hard.  Impressively hard.

Super secret truth?  It’s not.  At all.  You just need one or two kinda wild spices in your drawer, and you are set.  Hit up Penzey’s and you can be making Indian food for dinner.

You could be impressing people tonight.

Word to the wise, though: don’t surprise dinner guests by making Indian food.  People like to have a warning if they are eating ethnic.  If you don’t ask them upfront and make sure they are on board, it could get ugly.  That’s the opposite of impressive.

Serve this with yesterday’s Tikka Masala and rice, or just with homemade naan or chapatis and some sliced pear.  So good.  So easy.


1 cup dried red lentils, washed and picked over
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 cloves
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
salt to taste
2 tablespoons cold butter (optional)
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


Combine the lentils, ginger, garlic, cardamom, mustard seeds, cloves, and pepper in saucepan and add water to cover by about 1 inch.  Cook at a steady simmer until the lentils are quite soft, 20-30 minutes.  Salt to taste as lentils soften.

Remove the cloves and cardamom pods.  Stir in the butter if using it.  Taste to adjust the seasoning and garnish with cilantro to serve.

Source:  How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

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