300g split red lentils (masoor dal)
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Small lump ginger, skinned and finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted and lightly crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds, dry roasted and lightly crushed
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp hot chilli powder, or more if you like
2 bay leaves
1 or 2 tomatoes from a tin, chopped, with their juice
1l chicken stock (or Marigold bouillon in an emergency)
1 lime, natural yoghurt and fresh coriander, to serve
Thoroughly wash and drain the lentils. Heat the butter in a medium pan and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger until they're softened and lightly coloured. Add the spices, stir well and cook gently for two or three minutes.
Add the lentils, bay, tomatoes and stock to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or so until the lentils are beautifully soft. Taste and correct seasoning.
Fish out the bay leaves, then decant half the soup into a blender and blitz thoroughly, returning it to the pan. Pour into warmed bowls and garnish with a dollop of natural yoghurt, a good squeeze of lime and some fresh coriander.