1 cup red split lentils, rinsed
1 cup finely diced root vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, potato, sweet potato, daikon & radish
1 small onion, finely diced
1 can of Australian cherry tomatoes - use a knife to cut up in can
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch (5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of dried chili flakes
3 1/2 cups water
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil or preferably virgin coconut oil (higher heat capabilities)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 bunch chopped fresh coriander for garnish
lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
In a medium cast iron pot add the rinsed lentils, vegetables, diced onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes. Pour the water into the pot and give it a little stir.
Place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring to an almost boil and then simmer for about 40 minutes, whisking the dal often. Toward the end, the lentils should be completely broken down. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, whisk the dal vigorously to encourage the breaking down of the lentils and add the turmeric. It should appear quite soupy. Season the dal generously with sea salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds. Once the seeds are fragrant and popping, remove from the heat. Do not burn as they will taste sour and ruin the soup!
Gently spoon the toasted spice oil (with the whole spices) on top of the dal. You can lightly stir it in if you like. You can also portion the dal out first and then spoon the spice oil on top. Garnish the dal with the chopped corainder. Serve the dal hot with lemon wedges. Optional - a spoonful of your preferred yoghurt.