• 1/2lbbrown lentils (about 1 1/8 cups), washed and picked over
  • 1small onion, cut in half
  • 2garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1bay leaf
  • 4cupswater (more if necessary)
  • 2Tbspcanola or peanut oil
  • 1tspcumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • 1/2tspchili powder
  • 1/2tspturmeric
  • 1tspcurry powder, to taste (more if necessary)
  • salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2cupplain low-fat yogurt
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Combine the lentils, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt to taste (under-salt slightly because you will be reducing the liquid), and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, until the lentils are falling apart tender and fragrant. Remove the onion and garlic and discard.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spices and stir as they cook for about 30 seconds. Add the lentils with their liquid and cook, stirring and mashing with the back of a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens. Add salt to taste. Once the mixture has reduced to the desired consistency spoon onto plates and top each serving with a generous spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.
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