Madras Lentils

Madras lentils were introduced to me by a friend.  They are very good and the ones I had are made by Tasty Bite.  They make many microwavable Indian meals.  This dish tastes a lot like chili.  It is vegetarian and full of fiber.

I had been to Trader Joe’s fairly recently and bought some steamed lentils.  I thought this would be a good use for them.  You can use dried for this recipe though.

Prepare the dried lentils this way and then add them when the recipe calls for the steamed lentils.

  • Rinse and pick through the dried lentils.  Place them in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes.  Drain them and toss with 2 tsp of salt.

Now onto the Madras Lentils or Lentil Chili:

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 1 TBSP dried, mined garlic
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 six ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can of diced green chilies, undrained
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb of lentils (either steamed or boiled from dry)
  • 1/2 cup of milk

In a large pot, add olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and stir.  Add chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper to the pot and stir.

Add tomato paste and stir until combined.  Add diced tomatoes and green chilies.  Let cook for 5 minutes.  Add water, broth, and black beans.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add lentils and cook another 10 minutes or until your desired thickness.  Turn heat off and wait for a few minutes.  Add milk and stir.

Serve with sour cream.



  1. WAY. Too. HOT! We made this yesterday and I had some before the sour cream/milk and it actually pained me (and I like heat in my foods). My husband couldn’t believe how spicy this was, either. I love the recipe but will DEFINITELY cut down the amount of Cayenne. Maybe my Trader Joe’s cayenne is just extra powerful…?

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