1 cup red lentils, rinsed and sorted
3 1∕2 cups water
1 small (1-inch) dried red chile pepper
1∕4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3∕4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1∕2 teaspoon ground coriander
1∕4 teaspoon ground fennel
2 cups onion, sliced thinly
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons pistachios, toasted and chopped
1∕4 cup cilantro leaves
4 lime wedges
1. To prepare lentils, combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 18 minutes or until tender. Crush lentils with the back of a large spoon (or use an immersion blender to pur.e lentils to desired texture).
2. To prepare tarka, place dried chile in a spice or coffee grinder; process to grind. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add ground chile, cumin, turmeric, coriander and fennel. Cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add onion and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes, or until onion is very tender. Stir in salt.
3. Stir the tarka and lime juice into cooked lentils.
4. Spoon lentils into a serving dish. Garnish with pistachios, cilantro and lime wedges.
Serves 4. Per serving (1 1∕4 cups): 244 calories, 16.8 g fat (1.7 g saturated fat), 6.7 g protein, 18.6 g carbohydrates, 5.9 g fiber, 42.5 mg sodium.