Massaledarh Sambhar (Tomato Rasam)
The Art of Indian Cuisine (modified by Sarah)

1/2 cup yellow split peas
4 cups water
Big pinch ground turmeric
Big pinch black pepper
Big pinch ground asafetida (I don’t know what this is)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp whole mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 15-ounce cans chopped tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Boil the split peas in the water until tender, 20-30 minutes. Leave the lid off, and keep an eye on it so it doens’t boil over. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Pass the peas through a food mill, grind them in a big mortar and pestle, or (because you probably don’t have these) pulse in a food processor or blender until creamy. Mix in turmeric, black pepper, asafetida, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice, and salt. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and stir to combine.

Heat oil in a large skillet (I used the pot I had used for boiling the split peas, but this probably was not the right choice). Fry mustard seeds until they crack open. Add the bay leaf, onion, and green pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Mix in the split pea mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes, adding more of the reserved liquid if it looks too dry. Garnish with cilantro.

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