Mixed lentils and vegetable stew
1 cup mixed yellow lentils, pink lentils, yellow split peas, and yellow split mung beans (toovar, masar, channa, and moong dal)
3 tomatoes (about 3/4 lb)
1 small eggplant (about 3/4 lb.)
1 squash/zucchini (6-7 in.)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic (optional)
2 green chilis, seeded and minced, or 1/3 tsp red pepper
4 tbsp ghee
3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/3 tsp ground asafetida
2 1/2 tsp salt
8 kari leaves or 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Pick over and wash dal (lentils/etc). Soak in a bowl in 2 in. of water for 2 hours, drain.
Blanch and peel tomatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges. Cut eggplant and squash into thick 1 1/2 inch sticks, like short french fries.
Put dal in a deep pot with turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilies, and 3 cups of cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook 45 minutes or until fully cooked and tender. Turn off heat, let cool a bit, puree. There should be 4 cups of puree; if not, add water.
Heat ghee on high heat, add mustard seeds. When they're done popping (very quick), add cumin seeds. When they turn dark (about 10 seconds), add asafetida, stir, add tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring, but not mashing up tomatoes. Add eggplant and squash, cook 3 more minutes.
Add lentil puree and salt, boil, simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and tender. Add kari or cilantro and serve.
Dan's note: watch out for the asafetida! It is intense! Your kitchen will smell like it! Don't use too much or your food will all smell like it! Also, when it says "there should be 4 cups of puree there", I think maybe more like 3. It's real thin if you add water to make 4 cups.
Source: Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni, pg. 280-282