Roasting Spices, Lentils
Before you begin roasting the ingredients, measure them and set aside. Halve or break the dry red chillies and remove the seeds with a spoon. Also remove their crowns.
Heat a frying pan and then add coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
On a low heat, stir and roast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds, till they become fragrant and change color. It just takes 1 to 2 minutes in low heat to roast these. They should smell aromatic. Do not brown them too much.
Then remove from the pan and add to a large plate or tray.
Wipe the pan with a cotton napkin and add dry red chilies. Remove the crown and seeds from the red chilies, before roasting them.
Roast the red chilies, stirring them till they change color and you can get their pungent smoky aroma. Place the roasted red chilies in the same plate.
Now add the fenugreek seeds. Stir often and roast them. Roast till they get browned but make sure not to burn or brown them too much. Remove in the same plate.
Add black peppercorns. Stir often and roast. The black peppers will get aromatic and this is the time you remove them from the pan. Add roasted black peppers to the same plate, where all the spices are kept.
Now add chana dal to the same pan. Keep on stirring at intervals, while roasting the chana dal. Chana dal takes longer to cook than the spices. The dal should get browned or golden. For uniform cooking and color, keep on stirring them. Remove aside in the same plate.
Now add urad dal to the pan. Keep on stirring these lentils too while roasting them. Roast till they become golden and you a get a nice waft of the roasted urad dal. Remove them in the same plate.
Add curry leaves (fresh or dried). Roast the curry leaves till the leaves become crisp. Keep aside.
Next add mustard seeds. When all the mustard seeds finish popping, then remove them and keep aside.
Switch off the heat now and add asafoetida (hing) in the pan. Quickly stir as soon as you add the asafoetida.
Only the color needs to change of the hing and you should get its aroma. Remove and keep aside.