The ingredients for the soup. Yes, that's a baking powder container holding my salt. It's so much easier to measure and no salt is lost.
1 cup chana dal
This is the chunkier split dal.(Almost twice the thickness of split peas.)
The paper thin split dal is worthless if you want a thick option on the soup. The thicker dal also soaks up the water and flavor better.
Boil until almost done.
3/4 vidalia (sweet) onion
4 tsp minced garlic
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
Cook until onions are soft. The dal should be fully cooked by now.
1 TSP turmeric
2 TSP chili powder
1 TSP ground ginger (a one inch knob minced fresh is so much better and hotter but I never seem to have any on hand.
2 tsp chana masala
1 tsp garam masala
Cook 10 minutes more
Add 1 tsp salt. Taste and add 1/2 tsp more if it suits your taste.
**For those seeking serious burn,
finely chop 2 green chilis.
I bought a handful of small green chilis and strung them to dry. As they dried, the colors changed and some are green, some red, some a mix. All seem to have increased in heat the longer they dry. Simmer.
Top with chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) if desired.
I recommend adding the chilis after the salt tasting because one can't correctly judge the salt after the hot chilis are added.
NOTE: As with all my soups, I never measure the water, adding as I see fit. Some like a thin dal; my husband wants a dal to hand ladle with naan. To each their own.
Taste as you go along. Experiment and have fun. Open your sinuses!
Remember to allow time for the flavors to infuse. A dal should simmer.
The picture above shows where I have cooked this dal down to half to thicken it.
AN EXTRA KICK- To accomodate my husband's palate, I add 2 heaping TBSP of garlic chutney. His sandalwood soap helps offset all the garlic oozing from his pores for the next couple of days.