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Panchmel Dal

You will need:
4 cups Water
1 – 1 ½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp minced Ginger
2 tbsp chopped Fresh Cilantro
2 tsp Lemon Juice

Cooking Directions:
Rinse lentils and place in a deep pot.  Add 4 cups of water and the contents of Bag 1 (cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaves, turmeric and asafetida).  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium.  Simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.  This will take 45-60 minutes depending on desired consistency.  (As lentils cook, feel free to add a little water if necessary.)  When ready, stir in salt and sugar.

In a small frying pan over high heat, warm the oil.  When smoking hot, remove pan fromheat and add contents of Bag 2 (cumin seeds and mustard seeds).
Stir constantly until seeds crackle and turn a shade darker, about 10 seconds.  Reduce heat, return pan to stove. Add ginger; stir constantly and cook until it turns light golden, about 1 minute.  Pour contents of the pan over the lentils.  Add the contents of Bag 3 (garam masala, cayenne and fenugreek leaves).  Add the cilantro and lemon juice and mix thoroughly.  Check and correct the seasonings.  Remove black cardamom pods and bay leaves before serving.  (Adventurous types may eat edible seeds inside cardamom pods.)

Makes 8-10 half-cup servings.

Serving suggestions:
Thin dal can be enjoyed like soup or ladled over rice.  Thick dal can be scooped up with warm flatbread, naan or pita crisps.