Pick over the lentils for any stones
before washing them. Boil the lentils in the water with the ginger,
garlic, turmeric and chopped green chilies for about 15-20 minutes until
soft. Mash the lentil mixture down. The
consistency of the mashed lentils should be similar to that of a creamy
chicken soup. If the mixture looks too dry, just add some more water.
Season with the salt. To prepare the tarka, heat the oil and fry
the onion with the mustard and onion seeds, dried red chilies and sliced
tomato for 2 minutes. Pour the tarka over the dhal and garnish with
fresh coriander, green chilies and mint.
This dhal (Tarka Dhal) is probably the
most popular of lentil dishes and is found in most Indian and Pakistani
restaurants. Dried red chilies are available in many different sizes. If
the ones you have are large, or if you want a less spicy flavor, reduce
the quantity specified to 1-2.