An indulgent main or a hearty starter.


  • 400 g red lentils
  • 8 slices of peeled root ginger 5mm thick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50 g butter
  • 10 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely sliced)
  • 4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper


  • Place the lentils in a saucepan, along with the ginger, bay leaf and 1.5 litres (2½ pints) water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until the lentils are soft.
  • While the lentils are cooking, melt the butter in a small frying pan on a medium–high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic, cumin and chilli flakes and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes or until the garlic is lightly browned.
  • Serve the cooked lentils on a bed of boiled rice with the garlic butter poured over the top and seasoned with salt and pepper.

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