This is a soup I love to enjoy on a cool evening, with warm bread or just on its own. It is easy to prepare, because the yellow lentil in it cooks quite quickly. Mung dal is a great source of protein, ghee lubricates your microcirculatory channels, cilantro brings in the vitamins and minerals, black pepper makes all these nutrients more easily available to your cells. Above all, the soup is redolent of nature’s goodness, and can be quite addictive.
1 cup mung dal (split yellow lentils)
4 cups water
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp cumin seeds
Freshly chopped cilantro leaves, for sprinkling on soup
1/4 cup lemon juice (less if you would like it less sour)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Wash the mung dal in several changes of water, until clean. Soak the dal in plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. ( The longer you soak the dal, the faster the grains cook, but I would suggest not leaving it soaked for more than a couple of hours.)
Put the dal into a heavy-bottomed pan with water, salt, and turmeric, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the dal is cooked completely. Mash it with the back of a spoon if you like, or leave it as is.
Heat the ghee in a small pan, and add cumin seeds to it. As soon as they sputter and crackle, pour the ghee into the dal soup.
Toss in the lemon juice, black pepper, and cilantro leaves.
Tip: fire things up with the addition of some cayenne powder. The cayenne heat not only adds zing but helps clear the respiratory channels.