200g red lentils or yellow mung lentils ( soak the mung lentils for 3 hours to reduce cooking time. Red lentils do not require soaking)
900ml water
1 tablespoon oil
1teaspoon cumin seeds
1teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4teaspoon ground turmeric
1 medium finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped/ crushed
1 or 2 chopped green chillies or 1/2 tsp dried chilli
4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander


Rinse the lentils in several changes of water. Strain and add 900ml water.

Bring to the boil, skimming off the foam and simmer until cooked (20 to 30 minutes).

While the lentils are cooking, fry cumin and mustard seeds for a few seconds in the oil on a medium heat until golden brown.

Add chopped onion and cook or 5 minutes or until pale golden brown.

Add garlic, chilli, coriander, turmeric, salt and tomatoes.

Cook for a minute or two. Add onion spice mixture to pot of cooked lentils and cook for a minute. Add more water if mixture is too thick.

Just before serving, stir in garam masala and sprinkle with fresh coriander if using.