The Red Lentil Pot

“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.”- Chinese proverb.

Cooking with lentils and watching your loved ones relish the food laid down by you gives you an incomparable joy. As I had mentioned in my earlier posts that my family enjoys and relishes kidney beans (Rajma). It was one weekend afternoon when I and my husband were talking about Egyptian food, Hebrew bible and the red lentils used in cooking. Believe me, we are the ones who even like to have dreams about delicious food. It was the Egyptian combination of the red lentils with kidney beans that inspired me a lot to create my own dish giving it the name “The Red Lentil Pot” when our conversation reached the ‘Mess of Pottage’ from the book of Genesis (Bible).

I decided to combine the red lentils with kidney beans and used minimal spices to make it taste good. Finally the outcome was too good when the combination was made too simple in an Indianite way. My husband always encourages me and since it was his favorite Rajma he too jumped into the kitchen.  We tried a lot of variations to top it off with olive oil, ghee, butter, etc. slowly turning our small space into a test kitchen with some simple creativity. Together our minds started flushing in with more and more ideas trying different variations for this full flavor packed red pot with wholesome goodness. Slowly that day turned out to be an active fun filled day for cooking when the final result was put on the plate.

If you are a person who enjoys roti and dal, then you will definitely love this. It is best to be enjoyed with rotis or phulkas. You can call it a version of dal or a dipping sauce or even a curry. When you taste it with a piece of roti dipped into it you will feel a tour on your taste buds to get more and more. The first taste is the flavor of ghee mixed with the natural starchy sweet lentil taste that quickly kicks back and gives an after taste of pepperiness that mixes with your roti and you will not stop enjoying it. It is not spicy but the taste of the pepper into it will make it even more and more enjoyable. Try it out yourself…..


  1. Kidney beans- 1 cup.
  2. Whole red lentils- 2 cups.
  3. Ground cumin- 1 teaspoon.
  4. Garlic cloves- 3-4 nos.
  5. Red chili powder (Kashmiri red chili powder) – 1 teaspoon.
  6. White or black pepper crushed – 1 Tablespoon.
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Cooking oil – 1 Tablespoon.
  9. Clarified butter (ghee) – to top.
  10. Water as required.


  • Soak Kidney beans for 4-6 hours or overnight. Pressure cook till done. Add the red lentils to it and cook well for 10-15 minutes till all mixed or combined very well.
  • Mash the lentils till smooth with a potato masher. Season with cumin, pepper and salt.
  • Take a pan, heat oil and add the crushed garlic. Once the garlic is slightly brown, quickly add the red chili powder to it. Cut the flame once the chili starts bubbling. Add this to the mashed smooth lentil puree.
  • Adjust the seasoning preferred to your taste (pepper) and add some water if the lentil is too thick. Bring it to a boil till it turns a saucy texture. Check with a wooden spoon, if the mixture coats the back of the spoon and leaves a line, it’s ready.
  • Serve in a bowl and top it with ghee or the clarified butter. (You can also top with white butter or olive oil to bring up the health quotient. We prefer ghee and it goes very well with it). Serve hot with Indian bread (rotis or phulkas) or pita bread with your favorite salads.



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