Ali Baba's Red Lentils

I've made lentils in the past with the intention of duplicating some of the dishes I've had at Indian and several Middle Eastern restaurants. In doing so I've always used the brown lentils that are common to most American grocery stores. But while living in San Antonio one of the stores I try to shop at on a regular basis is Ali Baba's International Food Market, a store that specializes in all kinds of Arabic foods, but one where you can also find foods used for Indian cooking at very reasonable prices. I often work from Wednesday through Sunday and therefore like to make a large pot of food every Tuesday to last through the rest of the week. That's why I decided to head over to Ali Baba's recently to pick up a giant bag of the red lentils that are featured in many Indian food recipes.

Below are the results from the dish I named Mission Road Red Lentils with Naan, mint chutney, and black pepper salad. The weather was cold outside, but this dish warmed my belly and my lips. For me cooking is experimental and that's why I can't call this dish a straight variation of an Indian dish. After all, most lentil dishes are vegetarian, but in this one I included diced pieces of andouille sausage along with chopped Serrano peppers and a few drops of Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper sauce. All my photos are taken with an iPhone 8, except for older ones from an iPhone 6, so finished dishes don't look as good as they did on my stove or table.

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