This red lentils and rice recipe calls for a fragrant blend of seasonings and herbs. Garam masala is an Indian blend of dry-roasted, ground spices that includes up to a dozen different flavors ranging from cinnamon to fennel to black pepper; it can be found with other spices in many large supermarkets or speciality food shops.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried small red lentils
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon seeded minced jalapeño pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 1/2 cups hot cooked brown basmati or brown rice
5 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
How to Make It
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, and sauté 6 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add the ginger and next 5 ingredients (ginger though bay leaves), and sauté for 1 minute. Add 3 cups water, lentils, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves.
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and jalapeño; sauté 5 minutes. Add to the lentil mixture; stir in juice, cilantro, and garam masala.
Place 1/2 cup rice into each of 5 shallow bowls; spoon 3/4 cup lentil mixture over rice. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt.
Note: Because jalapeño peppers can vary in heat intensity, you may wish to adjust the amount used based on your own preference for hot and spicy foods.