One of Doug's favourite dals, great with rice or on its own with chapatis to scoop it up.
2/3 c desiccated coconut
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 heaping tbsp butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Bengali Panch Phoron
6-8 cloved garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp turmeric
7 c water (more as needed)
3 cups red lentils, cleaned and well rinsed
2 cups russet potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp Delhi Chat Masala or Punjabi Garam Masala
2 bunches spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish
Toast coconut in a small dry pan over low heat and reserve for garnish.
Heat oil and butter to a large pot over medium heat, when the butter has melted add the onions and Panch Phoron. Saute until the onions begin to carmelize. Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric; stirring constantly. Add water and lentils, bring to a slow simmer, stirring to prevent the lentils from frothing over. Add the potatoes and simmer until the lentils break down, adding more water as necessary. Use a large whisk to blend the dal into a thick soup consistency.
Add Delhi Chat Masala or Punjabi Garam Masala and spinach, stirring while the spinach melts. Taste and add salt as required. (Note Delhi Chat Masala contains black salt so if you are using it you may not need to add more salt.)
Serve garnished wtih toasted coconut and chopped cilantro. Makes a very large pot!