2. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and chiles, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the bell pepper initially releases its water and then starts to brown, and the hot chiles smell pungent (adequate ventilation will help clear the air), 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomato, salt, and turmeric, and scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it, releasing the browned bits. Pour in 2 cups water and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato has softened and turn slightly pulpy, 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Once the lentils are tender, pour the bell pepper sauce into the pan. Raise the meat to medium and continue to simmer the dal, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors mingle and the sauce thickens slightly, 5 to 8 minutes.
5. Stir in the cilantro, and serve.
Reprinted from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. Copyright © 2008 Published by Workman Publishing Company.
Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, is studying whether the experience of being a virtual cow will make people feel more empathy. "[Our previous work] showed that if you had occupied the avatar of another person, you showed empathy toward them," Bailenson says. "But no one had ever tried this with another species."