Wash and rinse your dal well, soak it in a few cups of water for a few hours, then cook: bring to boil and skim of the top and discard.
Add onion, chillies, tomato and all veggies (except the greens), plus your cumin seeds, salt and turmeric. Turn down and partially cover, leave to simmer on low heat for about an hour.
This dal is done when everything is lovely and mashed up. You can blend it, or just further mash any large pieces of vegetables up with a potato masher. At this stage I like to put in my greens - silverbeet or spinach, and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
Taste the dal, add more salt if needed, and the tamarind or lots of lemon juice to balance the flavours.
If you want to add a tarka, at this stage you can heat some ghee, fry some more onion till it is brown, garlic, curry leaves, mustard seeds and more cumin seeds, and add it to the dal.
Serve with lots of fresh coriander. When I made this dal, I coated some Japanese eggplant in olive oil and salt and grilled it, then used it to garnish the dal... it was delicious.
Serve with lots of fresh coriander. When I made this dal, I coated some Japanese eggplant in olive oil and salt and grilled it, then used it as garnish... it was delicious.