This recipe comes with few alterations from The Vegetarian Table: India, one of Yamuna Devi's lesser-known and harder-to-find cookbooks. It's beautifully illustrated and a valuable collection of unique and occasionally exotic Indian recipes.
Marawadi mixed dal
1/2 cup chana dal
1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 cup mung dal
5 cups water
3 tablespoons ghee, or 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and slivered
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 hot green chilies, seeded and cut into slivers
small handful of trimmed fresh cilantro leaves, reserving a few leaves for garnish
juice from 2 limes
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
Thoroughly rinse the dals under cold running water for several minutes. Put the dals in a large saucepan with the water and bring to a boil, skimming off the foam on the surface. As it comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of the ghee or butter along with the ginger, turmeric and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook gently until the dals are soft and broken, about 45 minutes.
Heat the remaining ghee or butter and oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the ground coriander, chili powder, tomatoes and green chilies, and fry gently for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and pulpy. Ladle a cup or so of the cooked dal into the pan, toss in the cilantro leaves, and stir to mix. Add back into dals, stir in the lime juice and salt, and taste for seasoning.
Serve hot scattered with a few of the reserved cilantro leaves. Serves 6 to 8.