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Indian Spiced Lentils With Onion Salad and rice in a bowl

Indian Spiced Green Lentils

These Indian spiced green lentils are super delicious and nutritious!  Serve as a side dish or with basmati rice and an onion salad for an awesome vegetarian meal!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 servings
Calories 282 kcal


  • 200 grams green lentils rinsed and sorted
  • ½ onion minced
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 thai chilis optional
  • 3 tablespoon butter split
  • 1 ts cumin seeds
  • 1 ts coriander
  • 1 ts turmeric
  • 1 ts curry powder
  • ½ ts cayenne
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tomato roughly chopped (optional)
  • handful cilantro roughly chopped (optional)

Onion Salad

  • ½ red onion sliced
  • few wedges lime or lemon
  • few sprigs cilantro
  • 1 or 2 thai or serrano chilis sliced for extra heat (optional)


  • Heat up a pan to medium high.  Dry fry (continuous stirring) the cumin seeds for approximately 30 sec - 1 minute, until the seeds are slightly browned and aromatic.  Leave on the side to be used in a later step.
    Cumin seeds in a pan
  • Rinse and sort the lentils.  Place in a deep saucepan, and cover with about 1 inch of water.  Bring to the boil (skim off any scum), and then lower the heat and simmer for approximately 12-15 minutes.  Add additional water if necessary while simmering.  At the end of the cooking time, taste the lentil to determine if it is tender.  Continue to cook if necessary until tender.  Once tender, turn off the heat, and then drain off most of the water, leaving just a little bit.
    Green Lentils covered by water in a pot
  • Mince the garlic, ginger, onion, and chilis (if using) in a food processor.  
    Minced garlic, ginger, and chilis in a container
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter (med high heat) in the pan that was used to dry fry the cumin.  Add the minced garlic, ginger, onion, and chilis to the pan and stir fry for around 3 minutes.  Add the curry powder, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne, along with about 1 tablespoon of water, and stir for around 1 min or so.
  • Add the mixture from the pan to the drained lentils, along with the rest of the butter (2 tbsp).  Add in the cumin and cilantro if using, and then stir well.  Add salt to taste at this point.  
    Cooked Green Lentils with butter and a spoon in a pot


Serve the cooked green lentils as a side dish, or as a main alongside basmati rice.  Add the roughly chopped tomato, some cilantro, and the onion salad to enhance the spiced green lentils.  Enjoy this healthy vegetarian meal!


Calories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 19gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 26mgPotassium: 889mgFiber: 22gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 610IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Lentils
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