This home made answer to what restaurants call mulligatawny soup went down very well with our guests on Saturday.
6 medium sized tomatoes( or 1 or 2 more, if you would like a more sour soup)
5 tbsp of arhar daal
½ tsp of grated ginger
½ tsp of mustard seeds
2 tbsp of ghee
½ tsp of turmeric
a pinch of asafetida
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Soak the daal for 1-2 hours, then pressure cook it till it is very soft.
In a large casserole, warm the ghee, and add the mustard seeds. When these begin to crackle, add the curry leaves and the asafoetida. Fry these for just a few seconds, add the ginger, and fry till for a few seconds till it starts to turn a golden color. Now add the tomatoes and the turmeric, and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the salt and 2 cups of water next, and let the mixture come to a boil. Continue cooking for 7-8 minutes, mix in the daal, and simmer everything together for a further 10-12 minutes or until the soup has acquired the thickness/consistency you’d like. Stir in ½ the coriander and turn the heat off, keeping the rest to add a little to each bowl before you eat.
For a spicier flavour, grind pepper on to each portion. It definitely lifts the taste; gives it a great kick that goes well with the tanginess of the tomatoes.