Preparation / Directions:
Place the dals in a saucepan with the water, 4 spice, whole green chiles, and 6 curry leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the dals have broken up. Add a little extra water if the dal begins to dry out. Pour in the tamarind extract, then stir in the tomato puree and salt and simmer for another 15 minutes. Mash the cooked dal with a potato masher or blender/food processor very quickly until smooth and creamy. (First remove the whole chiles and curry leaves)
In a second pan, heat the oil until very hot, then add the remaining curry leaves, cumin seeds, dried red chiles, and garlic. As soon as the garlic is golden pour the oil and spices over the dal and cover the pan straightaway. Leave for a minute or two, serve hot.
*Tamarind (Imli) is used as a souring agent. Use fresh or the dried. Make tamarind extract from the dried cake in warm water. A handful of tamerand with half cup of warm water is about right. Or use the already prepared extract by adding 2 tsp. pulp to 1/2 pint of water.
The best Dal I have ever had. Allow about 40 minutes for preparation.