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Tamatar mung dal
Toasted mung dal soup with tomatoes


Preparation and cooking time: 1 hr
1 cup (200 g) mung dal
8 cups (1.9 l) water
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon butter
21/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 dried chillies, crushed
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon turmeric
5 medium-sized tomatoes, washed and chopped
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

Pick through the dal and put it (unwashed) into a heavy saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and dry-roast the dal for 4 - 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until most of the dal grains are slightly browned. Now pour the dal into a metal strainer. Wash the dal under running water and return it back to the saucepan. Add the water, bay leaves, butter and salt. Now place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 30 minutes.
When the dal begins to break up, heat the ghee in a small saucepan and toss in the mustard seeds. Cover the pan. When they finish sputtering, add in quick succession, the cumin seeds, chillies, ginger, asafoetida, and turmeric. Stir-fry for about 20 seconds, then drop in the chopped tomatoes and turn them with a spoon for a minute or two.
Scrape the tomatoes and spices into the soup, cover, and simmer until the dal is fully cooked and smooth. Finally, add the lemon juice and coriander leaves and stir well. Serve hot with any rice dish or Indian bread.