Are you still with me? It's been a lot of beans this last week, I know, but keep in mind that any of these dishes can be frozen for a future warm dinner.
This version is sort of dal meets chana masala - two of my two favorite bean dishes. I've had the chana masala recipe - via the always awesome Smitten Kitchen - on my mind for quite awhile. I substituted my black lentils for the garbanzos for a ridiculously delicious result.
Just try to save yourself enough for lunch the next day (when it will taste even better). I predict failure.
The whole comes together quickly (most of the ingredients are easily measured out spices) and delivers Indian take-out heaven without the take-out hassle. When it's 5 degrees outside, that's worth something. Pair with basmati rice or warm naan and finish with a dollop of thick yogurt.
(Also see Using a Pot of Beans Part I: Poached Egg Over Lentils, Bacon & Cabbage; Using a Pot of Beans Part II: Almost-Instant Vegetable Bean Soup; and Using a Pot of Beans Part III: Lentil Hummus. Click here for the whole series.)
Curried Lentils (or Any Beans!)
Adapted from Chana Masala recipe by Smitten Kitchen
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 c. tomatoes, chopped small (fresh or canned)
1/3 c. water
2 c. cooked beans (lentils or chickpeas)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lemon (juiced)
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, paprika, and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.
Eat up or put a lid on it and reheat it when needed. Curries such as this reheat very well, later or or in the days that follow, should it last that long.