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Spiced Lentils and Collard Greens East Africa

"The lentils of the Middle East and the collard greens of Africa come together here in a well-flavored, pungent stew," writes Rozin. It is typically eaten with flatbread used for scooping up all the juices.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger root
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 fresh hot green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
8 ounces trimmed collard greens, shredded or chopped
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Plain yogurt, for serving (optional)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onion, ginger root, garlic, and chilies over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables soften and become aromatic.

Add the lentils, water, and collards. Bring to a simmer, then cook over low to moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still slightly firm and most of the liquid has cooked away. If at any point the mixture dries out, add a little more liquid.

Stir in the cardamom, salt, and pepper. Taste for salt and hotness; add some ground hot red pepper if more pungency is needed. Serve hot, with yogurt, if desired.

Serves 4.

By Sheryl Julian, Globe Staff, Julie Riven, Globe Correspondent and Lise Stern, Globe Correspondent

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