3 tbsps salted butter
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 ½ cups pink lentils, picked over and rinsed well
1 medium onion, sliced
½ cup diced tomatoes
½ serrano chili, sliced into thin rings
½ tsp turmeric
4 cups water
2 cups kale or baby spinach, sliced into thin strips (optional)
2 large eggs (optional)
¼ cup washed and dried cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Melt the butter in a small stew pot over medium-low heat. When the bubbles begin to disappear, add garlic and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the butter and garlic are light brown and the butter has a nutty smell. Keep a close eye on it once the butter begins to brown, as it can burn quickly.
Add the lentils, onion, tomatoes, chili, turmeric and water, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, eight to 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
If you are adding greens, add the kale about six minutes before the lentils are cooked or the spinach about four minutes before the end of cooking.
If you are adding eggs, whisk them in a glass measuring cup. After the lentils are cooked, slowly pour the eggs into the simmering lentils while slowly stirring with a wooden spoon.
Add cilantro and cook for another minute. Serve hot.
Photos: Excerpted from Flavorwalla by Floyd Cardoz (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Lauren Volo