Recipe: Red Lentils

One of my favourite meals is the red lentils dish that my grandmother used to make. As I cook the meal, I think of her and of the times I used to eat lentil dinners with her. I think of the moments we spent in the kitchen together as I watched her prepare dinners. Those were good times and I am happy to have those memories to hold close to my heart.

The last time I posted pictures of my favourite soups, a few bloggers requested my lentil recipe. Las Thursday it was cold again with the temperatures dropping below zero and I took the opportunity to cook lentils and to take pictures of the process. This post is for you Jo, Yvette and Madhu.

The first step to making this meal is to wash the red lentils thoroughly. I wash them in warm water until the rinsing water is clear. To feed a family of four, I rinse a large cup of lentils – you would have to use less if you are cooking for two people. Put the lentils in water on a hot plate to cook and, once the water has boiled, reduce the heat to medium. The lentils do need to be watched as you may need to add water from time to time. I like my lentils to be thick and creamy – if you prefer to make a thin soup, all you need to do is add more water.

While the lentils are cooking, I prepare the garlic, onion and tomato to cook the sauce that is typically Mauritian. Often when I cook lentils, I create a fish side dish so I chop enough of these ingredients for the lentils as well as the fish. Once chopped, I saute the garlic and onions, adding the tomato when the onions are ready.

When the lentils are cooked and look creamy, I add the tomato mixture. I then add salt to taste as well as dried thyme. Once the lentils are ready, I add some canned sardines to the leftover tomato mixture (I do not add salt to the fish as it tends to be salty enough for me and my family). Once the fish is done, I cook up a vegetable: broccoli, kale, chard, or whatever green vegetable I have in the fridge. When I cook my lentils thick, I eat it with rice – this I do not do when I make the lentils into a soup.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Lentils with fish and vegetables as a side © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

This is what our dinner plate looked like last Thursday. Delicious! And I was lucky enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day 🙂

Do you enjoy eating lentils?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015



17 thoughts on “Recipe: Red Lentils

  1. I’m starving!!! 🙂 I have pannakalty in the oven (corned beef, potatoes, onion and whatever veg you like)- an easy dinner because I was cleaning at Dad’s. Thank you so much for the recipe and the link. I’ll have a go at it when we’re back from Poland. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. thanks so much C – and I am curious about whether or not you measure out the water – you say you rinse a cup of lentils and then keep an eye to see if it needs more water – but do you start also with a cup of water?
    well it seems like my lentil concoctions come out different every time – ha! and recently I made something with green lentils, green split peas and brown rice – added in some chicken chunks, one cup of stock and misc. spices – it was really good.
    anyhow, I am going to trader joes later today and place to get some red lentils 🙂 to try this


    1. I don’t measure out the water Yvette, but I do make sure that the lentils are well covered with water. The lentils absorb he water as they cook and this is why you need to add more as the cook.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks – and keep you posted (also thanks again for following up with this – and even though there are recipes online, I like how you noted that you make yours creamy – and it is fun to get such a personal demo like this…:) )


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