A tomato and garlicky dal from Meera Sodha.
In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of oil over a medium heat and, when hot, add the garlic and ginger, and cook for three minutes, until they turn a pale shade of gold.
Add the tomatoes, cook for five to six minutes, then add the dal, turmeric, chilli flakes, four of the curry leaves and a litre and a quarter of water. Put a cocked lid on top of the pan and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat to a simmer, leave the dal to cook, stirring every now and then, for 30-40 minutes, until soft and fairly thick, then stir in the salt.
When the dal is nearly cooked, make the tarka. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat and, when it’s smoking hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, green chilli and remaining eight curry leaves.
When the leaves crisp up and the seeds crackle, which should happen within the first minute, take the tarka off the heat and pour into the dal. Stir to mix, sprinkle over the coriander and serve with freshly steamed basmati rice.