I cook black lentils in a way that is inspired by a blend of Bengali, Pakistani and Kashmiri style of making lentils. I would imagine this recipe to be a few centuries old at least. I have loved black lentils since childhood. Something about their round shape made them appear rather cute and wholesome to the 5 year old me.
The lentils get cooked slowly in freshly crushed garlic, ginger, and sliced onion with traditional spices including turmeric, salt, red hot chilli pepper, ground coriander and cumin, bay leaves and a hint of garam masala towards the end. I love to end the cooking with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, freshly cut green chillies and ginger for those who like it hot. Perfect pickle on the side is something everyone from Pakistan or someone acquainted with that region’s food should be quite familiar with – a salad of picked onion, with an interesting twist of thinly cut organic mint leaves and a big squeeze of lemon.
I found my Kashmiri and Bengali friends seriously in love with boiled Basmati rice with their lentils. I learned to love the combination too. It’s simple and beautiful. This style of cooking makes me happy, the aromas genuinely inspire me and I feel instantly at home.
Please inbox if you want to taste this bowl of yum!
Something quintessentially South Asian, big in flavour and a part of the rich cultural heritage of where I come from.