Punjh Daal (Five Lentils Curry)

2 tbsp masoor daal
2 tbsp chana daal
2 tbsp urad (white) daal
2 tbsp moong daal
2 tbsp tuvar (oily) daal
2 tbsp vegetable / canola oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 fat garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ginger paste
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp red chilli powder (or less if you want it less spicy)
1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 hot green chile, finely chopped
Handful of cilantro, chopped

1. Mix all the lentils together and rinse them a couple of times with tap water. Then cover them with water and let them soak for half an hour.

2. Drain the lentils of the water they've been sitting in. Then put them in a saucepan, and add fresh water. The level of water should be such that it reaches 1 inch above the level of lentils in the pan. Turn the heat on to medium, and let the lentils cook till tender - about half an hour. (Keep an eye on it, because it has a tendency to boil over)

3. In the meantime, heat up the oil (medium-high heat) in a separate small pan. Toss in the cumin seeds. When they begin to darken, and you smell their nutty aroma, turn the heat down to low, and add the ginger and garlic (be careful! It will sputter a lot - better to wait till the oil cools down a bit). Stir it all around for a few seconds.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes, followed by the salt, chilli powder, turmeric and green chile. Stir around, then cover with a lid and let the tomatoes soften. Oil will also separate. It will take about 7-10 mins on medium-low heat. Set aside.

5. When the lentils have softened, add the tomato mixture to it, followed by the chopped cilantro. Stir around, and let it cook for a further 3-5 mins. Taste for salt. Then you're done! Savor with parathas, chapatis, or any type of roti or flour tortilla.