There are two culinary dilemmas facing the average vegetarian. First, even the most creative cooks run out of ideas for new and delicious recipes which improve upon the usual boiled or steamed vegetables. Second, all too often, many vegetable recipes (which in regular cookbooks are meant to be side dishes) leave you feeling quite unsatisfied..

Delicious and inexpensive Curried Lentils solve both of these problems with relative ease. CURRIED LENTILS (2 to 3 servings) 1 pound frozen lentils 1 large onion, chopped 1 tablespoon butter 28-ounce can tomatoes (or 2 1/2 cups fresh, peeled and chopped) 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspon cumin 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Prepare lentils according to package directions. In a separate pan, saute onion in butter until soft. When lentils are cooked, drain off any water and add tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes and lentils are well heated through. Add the saute'ed onion along with the cayenne, cumin and turmeric to the saucepan, and let the mixture cook for several minutes. Sprinkle ground coriander on top and serve over cooked rice.

For variety, add leftover eggplant, broccoli or cauliflower. For a full meal, add tossed green salad and corn muffins.

This recipe is very similar in taste and consistency to a curry containing meat, but since no animal meat or fat is used, it should satisfy even the strict vegetarian, who may prefer to replace the butter with vegetable oil or margarine. This recipe is guaranteed to satisfy any and all hunger pangs.