1 C dry lentils
1 14-oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (I used home-canned)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (you could also use 1/2-1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 C water
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste
1/3 C heavy cream
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (didn't have, so skipped. Would have been lovely--for my picture and my palate)
Note for the calorie/fat conscious: You can skip the cream, but not the butter. (Or possibly visa versa.) I tasted it before adding the cream and it was seriously already to die for. Yes, the cream added even more amazingness if such a thing could be, but you could get away without using it. The butter, however, added a smooth flavorfulness that I don't think you should live without.
Check lentils for stones (I've never found one, but I don't want to either). Put lentils in large sauce pan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain water and return lentils to the pot. You can mash some of them against the side if you will.
Add crushed tomatoes (I pureed my home-canned ones and left the juices in, so it was pretty watery). Add ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, water, butter, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour until dal is thick with most of the fluid cooked out. Check the pot periodically and if your water cooks out before it's done, just add more. Take off heat and stir in cream. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate