Every region of India has different ways of making dal , a little bit of changes in spices & tempering gives the dal a completely different taste. So here is a recipe for Masoor dal from Maharashtra ( a state from western-central region of India) .
Ingredients- Masoor dal ( orange coloured lentils) – 2 cups aprroximately, 1/4 cup of grated coconut, green chilies ( depending on how spicy you want it), 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 medium size chopped onion, 1 1/2 tsp of taamrind pulp , salt to taste.
Soak the dal for about 1/2 hour or so. Grind the coconut, chillies , garlic & cilantro to make a paste. In a vessel combine the masoor dal, with water & add the chopped onions to it. Keep it on a medium flame, as the dal cooks there will be a white froth on the top. Remove that froth & then add the green paste of coconut & chillies , tamarind pulp & salt. Add water according to the consistency you want. Lower the flame & let it cook. These lentils cook very quickly so its easy to make. Also lentils are good source of proteins & little bitof variations in cooking make them healthy & tasty entrees.