During my senior year of high school, my mom and I took a 6-week Indian cooking course in Brookfield, CT. This recipe is one of the things we made. My original copy of it is all scrawled over and makes no sense so I am going to rewrite it neatly here. It's very good recipe, and it is very "authentic" Indian food. It is very tasty but it has so many flavors, so make sure to serve it with some rice and naan and other yummy things like that.
It doesn't look so pretty, but it is good.
1 cup lentils [2 cups of water to 1 cup lentils]
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp oil (canola)
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground curry powder
Pinch of cloves
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice - to taste
1 tsp salt - to taste
1 small chopped onion (optional)
Pinch of sugar
1. Grind seeds in a mortar and pestle.
2. Rinse lentils 3 times thoroughly and drain.
3. Cook lentils with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are soft.
4. Make the Vigaar: Put oil in small saucepan, and heat at medium setting. Add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, immediately add turmeric, cumin seeds, sugar, and tomato. Do not allow seeds to char. Stir until tomatoes are soft, almost like a paste. If you are using an onion, toss that in there at this point as well.
5. When lentils are soft, add vigaar, lemon juice, curry powder, ginger, red pepper, cloves, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Variation: Substitute black-eyed peas or chickpeas for the lentils.