(Burmese lentil soup)
This "sweet" Burmese soup is ferociously filling, thanks to all the substantial, deep fried garnishes. Really yummy, with so much heat and crunch and flavor accenting the bland dal foundation. Serve barely warm to 4 as a meal.
Wash the lentils thoroughly, then pour into a large pot with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook partially covered until the lentils lose their shape and make a thick porridge. Stir in the chopped cilantro, season to taste, and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, begin preparing the garnishes, in the order given. As they're done, place in small bowls to pass with the soup. When ready to serve, pour the soup (barely warm) into a tureen and take it and the garnish bowls to the table. Invite your guests to put 2-3 ladles full of soup into their soup bowls and heap the garnishes in a pile in the middle of the bowl.