Indian Lentils with Garlic and Onion (Masoor Dal)
* 3 cups water
* 1 cup split red or brown lentils, washed and drained
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
* 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
* 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
* 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 teaspoon salt
* Combine water, lentils, turmeric, and cayenne in a large saucepan or kettle and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover pan, turn heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. If you are using split red lentils, they will cook in about 15 to 20 minutes.
* Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and stir. Add garlic, onion, and salt and continue stirring for about 5 minutes, or until onion begins to brown.
* When lentils are cooked, add onion mixture to them. Mix well and simmer for 5 additional minutes before serving.