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MY BEST RECIPE

Tomatoes and Lentils Blend in Easy Soup

April 08, 1990

"Lentil-Tomato Soup is quite tasty and very nutritious," T.M. Lakshmi writes. "This easy to make recipe was given to me by my mother, who makes excellent vegetarian dishes."

LENTIL-TOMATO SOUP

1 cup lentils

1 teaspoon oil

1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 cup chopped onions

10 medium tomatoes, chopped or thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Curry Powder

Salt

Cook lentils with water to cover until tender or cook in pressure cooker with 2 cups water, following manufacturer's directions. Drain lentils.

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cover pan and heat until seeds pop. Add and saute onions until tender. Add 8 cups water with tomatoes and cilantro. Simmer 10 minutes.

Add cooked lentils and 2 tablespoons Curry Powder or to taste. Bring to boil, stirring. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt. Makes about 8 servings.

Curry Powder

1 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 dried red chile, crushed

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 tablespoons split peas

Heat oil in skillet. Add coriander seeds, pepper, chile, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and split peas. Stir-fry over low heat 2 minutes. Cool.

Grind in electric grinder until fine. Use immediately for best aroma and flavor, otherwise store in airtight container up to several weeks.

--T.M. LAKSHMI

Van Nuys

The Times pays $10 for readers' recipes published. Send your favorite unusual recipe to My Best Recipe, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Write how you got the recipe, how you use it, and include name, telephone number and address. Recipes become the property of the Times and will not be returned. Allow three weeks for payment after publication.

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