This dal, much prized by Puneri Brahmins in Maharashtra, is sweet and fragrantly spicy, with a slightly sour undertone. Kokum, one of the ingredients, is a local sour fruit which has been dried, and it gives southern Indian food a distinctive flavour. It is often available from Indian groceries, but tamarind paste is an acceptable substitute. Asafoetida is a gum resin prized as a condiment in India. It is also known variously as 'devil's dung' and 'food of the gods'! It has a strong sulphur smell prior to cooking, but thereafter has a pleasant aroma. Asafoetida is a useful antidote for flatulence, and is thus incorporated into many Indian lentil dishes! Goda Masala is a Maharashtrian spice blend. I have posted the recipe for it separately (see recipe #109909).