Serves 4 to 6.
1 cup red lentils
5 cups water
2 teaspoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 pinch hing
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
5 curry leaves, fresh or dried
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon masala powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Wash the beans twice and soak overnight in plenty of water. Drain.
Add the beans and 4 cups of the water to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir beans occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add 1 more cup of the water and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes or until beans are tender. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a small pot or frying pan until medium hot, then add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing. In a moment, when the seeds pop, stir in the garlic and brown lightly.
Add the curry leaves, cilantro, turmeric and masala powder. Mix quickly.
Stir this spice mixture into the soup, the add salt. Add some or all of the last cup of water, depending on how thick you want the soup.
Bring to a boil for 2 minutes and serve with rice and chapati or bread.
Although this soup is tridoshic, the light and dry quality may stimulate vata, so vata should not eat it more than twice a week. The spice in this recipe make the lentils okay for pitta.
Medicinal Uses: A good food to take during flu and diarrhea. Red lentils are a good source of iron, so are a good blood builder and liver cleanser.