From Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi
Serves 5-6, prep time 10 minutes, cook time 1.5 hours
2/3 cup split mung dal
8 oz fresh spinach, chopped
6 1/2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp minced ginger root
2 tbsp ghee (we use sesame oil)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafetida (hing)
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne or paprika (we use both)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1. Soak the dal in water for 30 minutes. Rinse until water runs clear. If you are using frozen spinach, defrost it, place it in a strainer and press out the excess water.
2. Place mung beans, water, turmeric, coriander, ginger root, and ghee or oil in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring to a full boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently boil for 1 hour or until the dal is soft and fully cooked.
3. Off the heat, uncover and add the salt. Beat with a wire whisk and cook for 25 minutes until the dal soup is creamy smooth. Add the fresh spinach, cover and boil gently for 5-8 minutes more; or cook frozen spinach for 2-3 minutes.
4. Heat the ghee or oil in a small saucepan over moderate to moderately high heat. When it is hot, pour in the cumin seeds and fry until they are brown. Add the asafetida and cayenne or paprika and fry for just 1-2 seconds more. Then quickly pour the fried seasonings into the soup. Cover immediately. Let the seasonings soak into the hot dal for 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, stir and serve.