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Cook the Lentils: Combine the lentils, water, and salt in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender to preference. Let the lentils sit for 5 minutes before using. Drain excess water if needed and keep aside. Or use 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils or beans.
Make the Sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients into a bowl. Mix well to combine and keep aside.
Cook the Veggies: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add onion and chilies and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cashews or peanuts and mix for a few seconds. Add garlic and ginger and mix in. Add the peppers and celery and mix well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add in the sauce and cooked lentils and mix well. Add a few more tbsp water, if you like extra sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens and some is absorbed by the lentils. Taste and adjust spice and sweet. Add red pepper flakes to taste, if needed, and mix in. Garnish with a dash of lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with cooked rice or grains of choice.