Soak 1/2 cup toor dal for an hour and a half
Cook toor dal
When lentils are cooked 2/3 of the way, add 1 28oz. can organic crushed tomatoes
Cook until lentils are soft
Add 2-3 tsp. rasam powder
Add about 1 tbsp lemon juice
Puree in a blender and return to pot [if you want to be more traditional, don't do this]
Add water, if soup is too thick/saucy
Fry up, in a bit of peanut oil:
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
[until the mustard seeds splutter]
Add to the fried seeds, and stir-fry:
2 decent-sized cloves minced garlic
5-6 curry leaves (fresh or dried)
Pour the fried seeds/garlic/curry leaves into the soup
Add a handful of chopped coriander leaves
Cook the soup for another few minutes, to let flavors blend
Soak 1/2 - 1 cup toor dal for about an hour and a half. Rinse.
Cover the toor dal with water in a pot, and cook until done, about an hour and a half.
In another pot, stir-fry in oil for a few minutes: one chopped big white onion, one head of cauliflower (broken into florets), one or two cups diced long beans, a few diced non-starchy potatoes and chopped red and green peppers (you could actually use whatever veggies you want - those are just what I had in the house!). Add water to cover, and boil.
When the vegetables are mostly done, add one packet of MTR Sambar Paste (this is different from the powder masala, and includes the tamarind...if you use sambar powder, then add tamarind or lemon juice), and cook a little longer.
Combine the two pots, and cook on low heat for a few more minutes.
In a little oil, pop two teaspoons of black/brown mustard seeds, until they splutter. Add five or six curry leaves, and let them continue to temper the oil for a couple of minutes.
Add the tempered oil with the seeds and curry leaves to the pot, plus a pinch of hing (aka asafoetida), and a handful of chopped coriander leaves (aka cilantro), and cook for a few more minutes, to soak up the flavors.