We have been making this soup weekly! Don't fear the combination or amount of spices; they work very well together to give an authentic flavor.
2 cups raw brown or green lentils, soaked if desired
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons neutral oil like grapeseed or canola
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" fresh ginger, minced
1 dried cayenne chile or 1 tablespoon hot red chile flakes
2-3 carrots, sliced
about 1# potatoes, diced in 1" cubes
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 quart bag whole frozen tomatoes or two 14 oz cans of whole tomatoes
about 2 quarts water or stock
1. Heat oil in a deep stock pot. Add onions and saute until clear. Add ginger, garlic and cayenne, stir to mix. Add all the spices, including salt to taste, and stir to coat.
2. Add lentils, dry or soaked, carrots and potatoes to the pot and stir to coat in spice mixture.
3. Add tomatoes and water to cover by at least 1". Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the tomatoes are incorporated and potatoes are cooked, about 30 minutes.
4. Adjust seasoning with salt and spice, then serve with parsley as a garnish.