Lentils with Onions and Garlic

Wednesday is recipe day at CookingManager.Com.

This easy, cheap and healthy dish can be served hot and tastes even better cold the next day.  The flavor of the cumin, onions and garlic turn ordinary lentils into something special. It works in the pressure cooker too.

If you use a crockpot, skip the sauteing. Just add everything at once and make sure to fill the pot at least halfway.

Lentils with Onions and Garlic


Two tablespoons olive oil.

Two teaspoons whole cumin seeds. You can substitute powdered cumin, just add it at the end.

Six cloves of garlic.

Two to three onions, peeled.

Two cups of brown lentils, sorted for stones and rinsed.

Four cups of water.

Salt to taste.


Place garlic in the food processor and chop till fine. Add the onions and chop once again. You can do it by hand too. It doesn’t matter if the pieces are sliced rather than chopped.

Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the cumin seeds for a few minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Add onions and garlic to the cumin seed and saute for five or ten minutes, until soft.

Add lentils and water. Heat until boiling, then lower the heat and cook for 60 minutes. You may need to add extra water. If using a pressure cooker cook for 20 minutes.

When the lentils are soft, add salt and serve. Salting at the end helps the lentils retain their color.

You can serve this as a side dish, a vegetarian main course, or even an appetizer. It keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer. Don’t be afraid to play with the proportions or spices.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

Cool Summer Chickpea Stew

Tomato Sauce in the Pressure Cooker

Summer Fruit Cooked in the Microwave

Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold

This post appeared in the October Carnival of Superfoods: Beans and Lentils.


  1. Chaya Erez says

    How many does it serve?

  2. I make this with the juice of a lemon and some grated lemon zest. Shufersal makes a nice lentil/ mung bean mix that works great with cumin, lemon and garlic.

  3. Crockpotting this would be a great way to have the side dish ready when the main meal is ready!

    Thank you for joining the first October Fest Carnival of Super Foods! This week’s theme is broth/stock. Hope to see you back!

    PS – Please add the link to the carnival in your post.

  4. I make a similar recipe, often using chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned) in place of part of the water.

    I also recommend adding some chopped carrots and something green like a zucchini or some parsley.

    If someone you are cooking for doesn’t like the flavor of cumin, green spices like basil, marjoram and bay leaf also work nicely with lentils.

  5. do you have a photo of the dish?


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