Dal (Indian Lentil Soup)
may serve with rice
2 cups red lentils
2 TB olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
11/2 cups chopped tomatoes with their juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 TB minced fresh ginger
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced*
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
Place the lentils on a clean, flat surface, preferably light in color to visually aid in the sorting. Sort through the lentils and discard any pebbles or chaff. Place the sorted lentils in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold running water, drain.
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, cardamom, and garlic to the pan and stir until the spices are just fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, cilantro, ginger, jalapeño pepper, turmeric and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring often, until lentils become soft, about 15 minutes.
*If you desire a less spicy dish, remove the white membrane and seeds inside the pepper before mincing.