Spiced Lentils with Raita

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 heaping tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • ½ small onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 Thai chile pepper, chopped, or to taste
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • juice of ½ lime, to finish
  • Chopped fresh coriander, to taste
  • Basmati rice, for serving
  • Raita
    • 3/4 cup full fat yogurt
    • ¼ cup finely diced English cucumber, skin on
    • 1 tsp. toasted cumin seeds, ground
    • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped mint
    • Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring 3 cups of vegetable stock to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tsp. brown sugar, ground turmeric and rinsed lentils. Season with salt. Reduce heat to simmer. Let lentils simmer until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. In another pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic and hot pepper. Let cook until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add cardamom pods, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and bay leaves. When mixture is fragrant and the seeds begin to crackle pour the mixture over the cooked lentils and stir well.
  3. Stir in the lime juice and sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander to garnish. Serve with rice.
  4. For the Riata
    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.