preparation time: 15 minutes + 1 hour soaking
cooking time: 30 minutes
1 to 1.5 cups channa dal, soaked for 1 hour and drained
6 cups of water, or adjusted to desired consistency
1 tsp jaggery or brown sugar
2 tbls oil or ghee
1 tsp black mustard seeds
pinch of asafetida (this is powerful and pungent-be cautious)
1 tsp curry powder
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp tamarind paste diluted in 2 tbls water
1 tsp sambhar powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
2 tbls coriander leaves, chopped (cilantro)
bring the lentils to a boil in the water and simmer until soft. add the salt and brown sugar, mixing until they dissolve.
Heat the oil in a separate pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the cumin, asafetida, curry powder, and whole garlic. Saute for a minute.
Then add the tamarind and cook until it becomes thick and bubbly. Stir the in powder spices.
Pour the lentils into the tamarind mixture, bring to a boil and remove from the heat immediately. Serve hot with fresh cilantro.
From The Indian Spice Kitchen, by Monisha Bharadwaj. Hippocrene Books, Inc., 2000.
Copyright 2004 West-Art, Prometheus 91/2004