Jagannatha Puri channe ki dal
Anyone who has ever had the good fortune to see the form of Kåñëa traditionally worshiped in the Indian city of Jagannätha Puré, will never forget it. This form of Kåñëa, called Jagannätha, “the Lord of the universe,” is very merciful and attractive. His eyes are large and brilliant, and His broad smile extends from ear to ear. Jagannätha Puré channe ki dal is a favorite dish of Lord Jagannätha, and in many of our temples the devotees regularly offer it to Him. After tasting this soup for the first time, a guest once remarked that he now understood why Lord Jagannätha is always smiling.
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hr
1 cup (200 g) channa dal
8 cups (1.9 l) water
3 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
5 medium-sized tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon powdered asafoetida
3 tablespoon grated fresh or 4 tablespoon dry coconut
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon molasses
Soak the dal overnight and leave in a strainer to drain. Bring the water with the salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan or pot, then add the dal and bay leaves. Cook partially covered over high heat for 30 - 40 minutes. (Remove any froth that collects on the surface). Then lift the cover, stir the dal several times, and lower to a simmer.
Wash the tomatoes, cut each one into 8 wedges, and add to the dal with the butter. Replace the cover and let the dal simmer while you prepare the seasonings.
Heat the ghee or oil in a small saucepan and fry the cumin seeds. Let them fry for a few seconds, then add the grated ginger, asafoetida, and grated coconut. Fry this mixture for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Now pour the ghee and spices into the cooked dal along with the sugar and the molasses. Stir well and simmer for 5 more minutes before serving.