1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably the fire-roasted variety), with their juices
1 cup uncooked black lentils (also called beluga lentils)**, picked over for debris
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus additional lime wedges for serving
Optional (for additional creaminess): half-and-half, or regular or light coconut milk
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Suggested accompaniments: cooked brown basmati rice or toasted naan
In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the garam masala, cumin, coriander and salt. Season generously with black pepper. Cook, while stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute, while stirring. Add the lentils, kidney beans, water and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils are nice and tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Transfer 2 cups of the mixture (make sure to get some liquid with the lentils) to a blender. Securely fasten the lid. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute, being careful to avoid the hot steam rising from the blender lid.
Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot and stir to combine. Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt (I usually add 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper. If you would like to temper the flavor and make the mixture even more creamy, stir in a splash of half-and-half or coconut milk, to taste.
Serve in bowls, with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge on top. If desired, serve rice or naan on the side. Leftovers keep well, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Use coconut milk instead of half-and-half, or use none at all.
*Change it up: While untraditional, I also love this recipe with regular curry powder instead of garam masala.
**Lentil note: This recipe is not designed for traditional urad dal (whole black gram lentils), which take forever to cook. Standard lentils (the brownish/greenish kind) will work in place of the black lentils. Just keep an eye on them, since they may be done cooking about 5 to 10 minutes sooner.
▸ Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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