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Gujarati urad dal
Urad dal with spiced yogurt

Urad dal is so rich in protein that the Äyur-veda recommends eating it not more than four times a week, otherwise the body becomes overloaded with protein. The addition of seasoned yogurt gives this soup a creamy consistency. It goes well with a simple steamed rice dish and an Indian bread.
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hr
11/2 cups (375 ml) plain yogurt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
7 cups (1.6 l) water
1 cup (200 g) urad dal
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 bay leaves
21/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 dried chillies, crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Mix the yogurt and the brown sugar in 1 cup (250 ml) of water. Set aside. Clean, wash, and drain the dal. In a heavy saucepan bring the remaining water to a boil. To this water, add the urad dal, bring to a boil again and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove any froth that accumulates on the surface. Add the turmeric, bay leaves, and salt, stir once, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes over medium-low heat until the dal grains can be mashed between two fingers. Now, remove the bay leaves, and mix the dal in a blender until it is smooth. Then let simmer.
Put the ghee or vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and fry the black mustard seeds. Cover the pan for a moment to prevent the mustard seeds from jumping out. When the mustard seeds have finished popping, toss in the crushed chillies, the fennel seeds, and the grated ginger. Stir-fry for a moment. Finally, put this masala into the yogurt and pour the yogurt into the dal. Stir to blend well. Continue cooking for 5 minutes before serving.