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Green Lentils with Green Beans and Cilantro

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Serves 4 to 6

  • by Madhur Jaffrey from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey

For vegetarians, these refreshing lentils, accompanied perhaps by a yogurt relish and a bread, Indian or crusty Western, could make an entire meal. For non-vegetarians, meats or fish curries may be added.

  • 1-1/2 cups green lentils
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup 3/4-inch green bean segments
  • 1 well-packed cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1/8 tsp. ground asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and cut into fine slivers
  • A few wedges of lemon, if desired

Put the lentils and 4-1/4 cups water in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn heat to low, and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Add the salt, cayenne, green beans, and cilantro. Stir to mix and bring to a boil again. Cover partially and simmer very gently for another 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Pour the oil into a small frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the asafetida and cumin seeds. Let the seeds sizzle for 10 seconds. Add the shallots. Stir and fry them on medium heat until they turn reddish. Now pour the entire contents of the frying pan into the pan with the lentils. Stir to mix.

Offer lemon wedges at the table.

Madhur Jaffrey has the very best Indian recipes! This particular recipe is completely delicious. Easy to prepare and full of flavor. This is an absolute keeper!

My daughter is vegetarian. She loved this, and asked me to make it again right away. I had to use cumin powder (about a third teaspoon), as I didn't have seeds. Also, I substituted the asafetida with a bit of minced shallot. I will use the intended ingredients another time, but even with the substitutions, it was delicious and really satisfying on a fragrant basmati rice pilaf.

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