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dal (lentil Puree)
  • For the Dal:
  • ½ pound Lentils, (split), picked over and rinsed
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½" piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • For the Tarka:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 dried red chiles
  • 6-8 fresh or dried curry leaves

Place lentils in a saucepan with onions, garlic, ginger and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a food mill or food processor and purée, then transfer to a clean saucepan.

Add 1 cup water and lemon juice, season with salt, then bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until dal is the consistency of thick soup, about 20 minutes. (if thick, add more water; if thin, simmer longer.)

 Just before serving, prepare tarka. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, chiles and curry leaves. Fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer dal to 4 bowls, season with spiced oil, and serve with rice.