This is from Whole Foods (mostly) - what I like about this recipe is that instead of adding the onion to the lentils while cooking, your cook the lentils and garlic separately, then add at then end - it keeps the flavors distinct and stronger contrast to the mildness of the lentils.
Red Lentils cook faster than other lentils, and get soft and pulpy fast. There is definitely no need to pre-soak them before using.
2 cups uncooked red lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (or garam masala, or curry seasoning)
1 tomato, diced (peeled if you like)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (or chopped fine)
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (or minced)
6 cups cooked brown rice
Put lentils, turmeric, tomato and 4 cups water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are very soft and pulpy, about 25 minutes. Add salt to lentils after cooking. I leave them as is, but whole foods suggest you then purée in blender and set aside (or I suppose it could be boat motor time again).
While cooking lentils, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and garlic and cook until golden brown, taking care not to burn them. You can also add some of the season to this mixture to cook into the onions and garlic - cumin would be fine here also. Don't use more than 1 tps of seasoning.
Add onion mixture to lentils and stir well. Or serve lentils in bowls, then serve onion mix on top of lentils, allowing the individual to mix.
Serve hot, with brown rice on the side. Great as a meal itself, or great with grilled chicken also.
This is a fine dish with yellow lentils also