How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils with the water and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam and stir in 1/8 teaspoon of the turmeric. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils break down, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook over moderate heat until they start to pop, 1 minute. Add the fennel seeds, coriander, chile and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the garlic and onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes.
Add the asparagus to the skillet. Cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the lentils and dissolved tamarind and bring to a simmer. Season the dal with salt.
One Serving: 321 cal, 15 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 34 gm carb, 9 gm fiber, 15 gm protein.
Lime wedges and rice.