Indian Dal Soup
Chile peppers contain oils that can irritate your skin and eyes. Wear plastic or rubber gloves when working with them.
Brown or green lentils can be used in place of the red or yellow lentils. Simply increase the cooking time to 25 minutes.
Toasted Spice Blend
In a small dry skillet cook and stir 1 tsp. each mustard seeds and cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp. each fennel seeds and whole black peppercorns over medium heat 30 seconds or just until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl; cool. Finely grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
Omit oil. In a 3 1/2- or 4-qt. slow cooker combine onion, carrots, jalapeño pepper, ginger, garlic, broth, lentils, and Toasted Spice Blend. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or high 4 to 5 hours. If using low, turn to high. Stir in tomatoes. Cover and cook 15 minutes more. Stir in garam masala and season to taste with salt. Serve with desired serve-alongs.