Cook dhal on the stove in 1l water until softened and reduced. This may take up to 55 minutes.
In another pot, heat 2Tbs oil and fry onions till soft and starting to colour. Remove 2Tbs onions and set aside.
Add garlic, turmeric and ground cumin and coriander and fry for a minute on low heat.
Add tomatoes and cook till they soften.
Add this mixture to the dhal along with the tamarind paste and chillies. Mix well.
You may want to add a little more water to thin.
In small pot, fry the mustard seeds in the remaining oil on medium heat.
When they start to pop add the rest of the ingredients.
Fry till aromatic for a minute or so and add to the dhal along with reserved onions before serving.
Dhal is best served with rice or roti and a tomato sambal or vegetable pickle.
Reprinted with permission of The Food and the Fabulous
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