I love dal. Yellow, spicy and yummy. When I cooked the yellow soup a while ago it occurred to me that it wasn't far off dal so I resolved to make a dal version. I cooked this in the pressure cooker, and while it would be perfectly possible to do it in a large pan be aware it would take a LONG time to cook down the lentils.
Itbsp oil (I used groundnut)
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic, chopped
half a floppy head of celery (the floppy bit isn't entirely necessary, to be honest)
1 medium carrot
4 handfuls of red lentils (about 100 grams)
1tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp hing (aka heeng aka asafoetida powder. Not vital if you don't have any)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
5 curry leaves (available from Indian grocery shops. Not vital, but delicious)
salt and ground black pepper
Heat the oil in the pressure cooker (or a large pan) and gently fry the onions until they begin to go translucent. Put in the garlic and fry for a while, then throw in the cumin seed and wait until they begin to sizzle and release their scent. Have a good sniff, it's a lovely smell. Chop up the celery (leaves and all) and carrot and add to the pan. Fry for a few minutes (or until patience wears out) then add the spices and give it all a good stir. Add the lentils and the curry leaves, then pour in enough boiling water to cover the veg.* Add a good big pinch of salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Bring the lot to the boil, put on the lid of the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. When you open the lid you should find that the lentils break down completely when you stir the soup. Liquidise and serve. I sprinkled on some black onion seeds but that was mainly so that I could find the picture in my ever-growing collection of yellow soups.
*If you are not using a pressure cooker you will need about double the depth of the vegetables. You will need to cook the soup for at least 40 minutes (at least), and you'll need to check regularly that the water has not boiled dry. Buy a pressure cooker, already. No, I'm not working for the pressure cooker board, though if there's a job going....