Alternate title: yolo lentils

I've been cooking more in the last few months that I have, basically ever. I'm not a bad cook, and my instincts and raw skills are pretty decent, but I'm not super inspired, I guess. Left to my own devices I eat the same few things again and again. So the exercise of mostly cooking for myself has been a lot about figuring out things to cook that taste good (and different!) and that I can reproduce reliably. Sometimes I'm more successful than other times, and frankly a lot of what I've come up with isn't super inspiring, but I recently stumbled upon something that was pretty great:


  • 1 Cup of Black Lentils
  • 2 Cups of Chicken Stock
  • 1 Onion chopped reasonably finely.
  • 3 cloves of garlic sliced.
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger microplaned or minced.
  • (some) Olive Oil
  • Spices: Sweet Curry Powder, Garam Masala, Tumeric
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Saute garlic onion, and ginger in olive oil until soft and becoming translucent, adding spices near the end. (5 minutes.)
  • Add stock and lentils, and cook until lentils soften. I did the whole thing in an instant pot for 8-10 minutes and let the pressure release naturally (without keep warm). I'm sure other kinds of pots and cooking methods work well too.

That's it.

Modifications and notes:

  • I put the spices in at the end of the sauteing phase, and I might have put them in slightly earlier, but it's fine.
  • I like that black lentils retain their form after cooking, but if you like more mushy texture other lentils would be fine.
  • If you don't use a pressure cooker, it seems reasonable that more liquid would be useful.
  • I used chicken stock because it's delicious and I had just made a batch of right before I made the lentils so it seemed reasonable. The stock flavor is secondary to the spices.
  • I didn't measure the spices (which were not particularly fresh, I must confess,) but I listed them roughly in terms of amount.