Lentils with Garlic Butter – A Decadently Delicious Side Dish

Lentils, or dal are traditionally served as a flavorful, silky, golden puree laced with garlic slivers. You can use either pink (my favorite) or yellow lentils both of which are available at the Indian grocery store. These lentils may be cooked ahead of time (it can be kept in fridge for three days). They also freeze well.


  • 1 1/2 cups pink or yellow lentils
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil or Indian Ghee (clarified butter). You can use butter.
  • 5-6 large garlic cloves peeled and sliced lengthwise


  • Wash the lentils by rinsing them several times. Remove any off-color ones.
  • Put the lentils in a deep pot along with the turmeric and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil stirring often.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer , partially covered for 25-30 minutes if you are using red lentils. The yellow ones take 40-45 minutes. You know they’re cooked if they are soft. Stir the lentils occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Turn off the heat and whisk or beat the lentils for a minute to smooth the puree. You can puree the entire mixture or leave a few whole lentils for texture and interest.
  • When ready to serve, simmer the lentil puree over low heat to keep it hot. Add a little water if it’s getting too dry, then make the garlic oil/butter mixture.
  • Heat the oil or shortening over medium heat in a small frying pan. When it’s hot, add the garlic slices and fry them just until they turn light brown and are still soft (about 2 minutes). Turn off the heat and immediately pour the perfumed garlic butter with the slivers over the lentil puree. Stir to mix and serve.

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