Saturday, November 19, 2016

Madras Lentils - an oil-free variant

I always love Madras lentils, but the point here is an oil-free variant, since I have adopted Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's oil-free vegan lifestyle. Actually, this is a very easy recipe.
It is amazing how cooking with oil now tastes dull to me...

Pulses are plentiful on Starling Avenue, so any lentils and such are easy to find.


3-4 cups of water (or you can also use some cooking water from green leafies, like spinach, etc.)
2 cups of red split lentils (Masoor Dal)
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large potato, peeled and cubed [1 russet or a few yukon gold]
1 Qt pack of tomato sauce/puree
1 15 Oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 15 Oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt, Real Salt, or Sea Salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste

Watch it with the red pepper - the above may be too hot for some palates, so you may want to start with 1 tablespoon of red pepper the first time you try if you have a sensitive palate.


  • bring 2 cups of water to a boil with the chopped onion, garlic, 
  • add lentils and potato and simmer for about 45 mins,
  • add in ground cumin, dried oregano, salt
  • add in 1Qt of tomato puree, 1 15 Oz can of diced tomatoes
  • add in 2 Tablespoons (to taste) of Indian Red Chili Powder, or Dried Crushed Red Peppers, or Cayenne pepper
  • mix in a can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • keep stirring with a wooden spoon all the time
  • let it simmer until if feels "done."
  • You can puree it, if you want it smooth.
This is excellent to freeze portions so you have this ready in a flash during the week. Over rice, with some fresh veggies, and you're done. A very healthy meal.

About the Stores

All the stores in my Starling Avenue food triangle are now posted on Nextdoor. You can get everything you need for the above recipe in one quick shopping excursion up and down Starling Avenue. SWAD lentils are everywhere. The Pioneer at 1345 has my favorite, Pomi Tomato Sauce. And the Key Food on Unionport usually has Muir Glen canned organic tomatoes.