1To make the dal: Combine 1 pound dried split red lentils with 1 teaspoon ground turmeric and salt to taste.
2Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils disintegrate into a thick, soupy puree.
3To make the tadka: Fry 1 teaspoon each ajwain, dill, and cumin seeds in 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter) until they turn brown and release their aromas. Add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons grated ginger and fry briefly.
4Just before serving, add salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to the lentils. Pour the hot tadka over the dal and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
This easy lentil soup is healthy, filling, and delicious. It happens to be vegetarian, too, and is packed not only with tender yet toothsome lentils, but carrot, celery, onion, spinach, and tomato. A little bay leaf, fresh thyme, and a splash of red wine or sherry vinegar perks everything up. Perfect with a loaf of good, crusty bread! Read more.