* 1 cup masoor dal
* 1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger
* 3/4 tsp salt
* 2 tblsps vegetable oil or ghee
* a pinch of ground asafetida
* 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
* 2 whole, hot dried red peppers
Pick over the dal and wash in several changes of water. Drain, then add 4 cups of water and bring to boil. Skim away surface residue. Add ginger and turmeric. Turn the heat to low and cover so that the lid is a little ajar.
Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until dal is no longer grainy. It can be mashed for a smoother consistency and to quicken the cooking time. Stir, add salt, and keep covered.
Heat the oil or ghee in a small skillet or pot over a medium flame. When hot, put in the asafoetida followed by the cumin and red peppers. Turn the peppers so all sides turn dark and crisp. Pour the mixture into the dal. Cover and allow the dal to absorb the flavors for at least a minute prior to serving. It can be garnished with lemon juice and cilantro.
Source: Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East Vegetarian Cooking cookbook