Food Stylist: Susan Spungen
Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Cilantro Lentils

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Red lentils cook down into a thick and comforting stew scented with ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. A nod to the South Asian staple dal, this recipe easily feeds a crowd on a budget.



  1. Combine the lentils, 6 cups water, the tomato, ginger, turmeric, cayenne and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, vigorously whisking occasionally, until the lentils are broken up and the mixture is thick, about 45 minutes. 
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute; stir into the lentils along with the cilantro and lemon juice. Season with salt.