Bright Yellow Dal

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Dal is a thick puree of spiced lentils or split peas that can be yellow, orange, green or brown depending on the legume you choose. Serve it with cooked whole grains and a green salad, or combine it with other Indian-inspired dishes for a multi-course ethnic feast.

2 cups yellow lentils or split peas
6 cups bouillon
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon tumeric
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Bring all ingredients except the cilantro to a boil in a large pot and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Stir frequently during the last half of the cooking time. Remove from the heat and stir briskly with a whisk or large spoon to mash the lentils or split peas into a creamy puree. (You can use a blender if you want a really smooth dal, but I find the hand-mashed version more interesting.) Stir in the cilantro and sprinkle a little on top for garnish.