“Make a pledge, starting today,
To add a vegetable, to your lentils everyday.
Wholesome & tasty, it adds something new,
Without complicating, your daily stew.
Experiment to taste, peppers red or leaves green,
Chop em all up, so they can’t be seen.
I know you’ll love it, get ready to be surprised,
And worst case? just eat it with french fries!”
¾ cup yellow lentils (toor dal), soaked for 1 hour in warm water
1 plum tomato, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup okra, cut into 1 inch pieces
5-6 stalks of fresh coriander, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 dried red chili
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchoor)
¾ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder (more if you want it spicy)
A pinch of asafetida (hing powder)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds and wait for them to start spluttering. Add the garlic & ginger and sauté for a minute. Mix in the onions and cook till they turn translucent – a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, along with all the dry spices. Mix well, cover and cook on medium-low flame till tomatoes are soft & tender. Crush them well with a spatula and then add in the okra. Stir for a few minutes and stir in the lentils [you do not need to drain them]. Mix well and add approximately 4 cups of water. Turn heat to medium-high till the mixture comes to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer for about 45 minutes-1 hour, till the lentils are soft and fully cooked [the time does depend on the quality of lentils and the hardness of water]. Continue to cook for 5-6 extra minutes till the consistency is thick and creamy. Sprinkle fresh coriander, remove from heat and serve hot with rotis, rice or bread.