8 oz red lentils
1 large onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 inch fresh root ginger
1 medium size carrot
1 medium size potato
6-8 dry or fresh red chilies
2 teaspoons powdered cumin seed
2 teaspoons Chili powder
Water or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste (optional).
Wash and soak the lentils, removing any stones, bits and unmentionables. Bring to boil then simmer in the water or vegetable stock. The amount of water you use depends on how thick you like your soup. Personally, the thicker the better.
While the lentils are cooking, finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Peel and finely dice the potato. Finely dice the carrot.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook gently until the onions are soft and pale gold coloured. Add the powdered spices, cook for one minute whilst stirring, to prevent sticking. Add the carrot and potato. You may need to add a little stock or water to prevent the potato starch from sticking. Cook briefly, then add the cooked lentils and the whole chilies. Bring to simmer and continue simmering until the potato and carrot are soft.
Adjust the amount of chili to your taste. The final soup should be thick, hot and spicy. Serve with croutons or toast, and a mixed salad.