My go-to spicy lentil dish

I love this dish - I can honestly say that I make it every other week, especially during the cold winter months (although, we've been having a super mild winter this year -- definitely not complaining). When we need to eat something delicious and hearty, but don't feel like hovering over a stove for too long, my Le Creuset pot comes out, and humble lentils are made into a large, satisfying meal in no time. I love working with lentils because unlike some other legumes, they cook quickly and can transform into a variety of flavors. Lentils are also super nutritious: they lower cholesterol, are a fabulous source of vitamin B, are a great source of fiber and may be good for the heart (horray).

This dish is best served with brown rice, and I almost always chop up some broccoli and throw it in there for a few minutes, right before we serve to give it some texture and a nutritional crunch. Alternatively, throw in some cauliflower or spinach in there to change things up a little bit.


  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 4 cups water
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, mustard seeds and chile and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Stir to ensure nothing burns. Add the tomato and cook for another minute or so.
  3. Add the lentils and water. Throw in the garam masala and turmeric.
  4. Bring the lentils to a boil and then lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. Keep checking back, you may need to add a bit more water.
  5. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Adjust seasoning as you see necessary.
  6. Add in veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, or spinach) a few minutes before serving