Onions, fresh garlic and ginger are quickly fried in olive oil along with fennel and mustard seeds, coriander, turmeric root powder, fresh curry leaves and Tellicherry black pepper.
Rinsed urad dal (split black lentils) and chana dal (split black chickpeas) are added to the pan and simmered for about an hour and a half in homemade vegetable stock. Chopped fresh tomatoes are added during the last 20 minutes, with chopped fresh cilantro added just before service.
The dish is topped with oil-fried fresh green beans and red chilies, with some of the hot oil drizzled over the top.
Low in cholesterol and high in protein, this easy, inexpensive dish is full of flavor and very satisfying..
For the Vegetable Stock (adapted from a recipe Gourmet magazine)
1/2 lb portabella mushrooms, caps and stems cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb shallots, left unpeeled, quartered
1 lb carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (including stems)
5 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 fresh bay laurel leaves
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
2 qt filtered water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Toss together mushrooms, shallots, carrots, bell peppers, parsley and thyme sprigs, garlic, and oil in a large flameproof roasting pan. Roast in middle of oven, turning occasionally, until vegetables are golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer vegetables with slotted spoon to a tall narrow 6-quart stockpot. Set roasting pan across 2 burners, then add wine and deglaze pan by boiling over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Transfer to stockpot and add bay leaves, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Pour through a large fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing on and discarding solids, then season with salt and pepper. Skim off fat. Use within 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.