4 servings

This recipe makes a great main course, sort of like a well-dressed, warm lentil salad. Eat it alongside Horta or a tossed green salad.

  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils (also called French lentils or lentils du Puy) or black beluga lentils
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Spread the lentils on a large baking sheet and pick them over for small stones.

2. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and add enough water so they’re submerged by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer over high heat; then reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain in a colander set over a bowl, reserving the cooking water below.

3. Warm the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, lemon juice, ginger, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. If the dish seems too dry, add the reserved cooking liquid in 2-tablespoon increments until a bit saucy without being soupy. Serve warm.

Tip: If desired, cover the completed recipe in the skillet and set in a 250F oven for up to 1 hour, until you’re ready to eat. Check occasionally and stir in more of the reserved cooking liquid if the dish seems too dry.

From The Blue Zones Solution by Dan Buettner, National Geographic 2015.