butter or ghee in a large saucepan and cook the chopped onion, chilies
and ginger for 10 minutes until golden. Add the lentils and water. Bring
to the boil, then part cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 50
minutes or until similar to a very thick soup.
Stir in the
roasted garlic purée, cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Cook for
10-15 minutes more, uncovered, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes
and adjust the seasoning, adding lemon juice to taste. To make the spice
mix, heat the oil in a heavy based pan. Fry the shallots over a medium
heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned. Add the garlic and
cook, stirring, until it colors slightly. Use a slotted spoon to remove
the mixture and set aside.
butter or ghee in the same pan. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry
until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Stir in the dried chilies and
curry leaves, then immediately swirl the hot mixture into the cooked
dhal. Garnish with the shallot mixture and fresh coriander and serve. A tongue
tingling spice mixture is swirled into this purée before serving.