Just returned to Cairo yesterday after nearly two months to find my expectedly nearly-empty fridge with some very sour and hard and inedible-as-fruit plums (left behind by one of the summer residents of my flat perhaps?). Sorely lacking in the vegetable and the aromatics (read onions and ginger) department, and also lacking in energy to go shopping for fresh produce, but famished and exhausted, this is what I tried:

Boiled a cup of split masoor daal (pink lentils) with the requisite water, turmeric, salt, pinch of asafetida and butter. Also added a couple of cloves of garlic since they were handy. At first boil, turned heat down and stirred in the sour plums (there were 2 of them) and allowed to simmer till daal was well cooked and the fruit completely softened. Mashed it and the garlic down with the back of the spoon ans stirred well to mix in thoroughly. Seasoned with a pinch of hot chilly powder. Just before serving prepared a tadka of panch phoron and a couple of whole red dried chillies.

The verdict: not unlike a daal prepared with tomatoes. Tastes good with either rice or roties. For a more guju touch, might I suggest adding some a pinch of brown sugar as well?

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