For 4 Person(s)
Wash the lentils well, and let soak in water for an hour. Drain.
Heat the ghee in a large saucepan, or pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds and saute over medium heat until they begin to sizzle.
Add in the chopped onions and cook until light brown.
Add the lentils and fry for 4-5 minutes. Since the original recipe calls for 6 tbsp, and I use only 2 tbsp, it is important to keep stirring the lentils, as they tend to stick without the extra fat.
Add approx. 2 liters water, and bring the lentils to a boil. Reduce to low heat, and remove any scum. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Cover and simmer until lentils are cooked and two-thirds of the liquid has evaporated. When using the pressure cooker, after adding the water, I immediately add in the coriander, red chilli and turmeric powder, put the lid of the cooker on, and let it cook for about 3-4 whistles. Then I lower the heat, and keep on the flame for 20-25 minutes. Once the pressure leaves, open the lid and proceed as follows.
Mash the lentils lightly against the sides with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle cumin powder and fennel powder, stir for 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
For the tempering, melt butter in a small saucepan. Once the butter is melted, add in the tomatoes, yoghurt and garam masala and fry over medium heat until the fat leaves the sides. You will see the butter floating on the sides. Add this mixture immediately to the cooked lentils and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Garnish with coriander and serve with any Indian flatbread or rice.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes, less if using a pressure cooker