1 cup masoor dahl, washed
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt to taste (usually about a tablespoon)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger, minced (optional)
2 cups water
This recipe comes from my daddy!
Sautée onions in oil with the garlic. Add spices and stir. Add a small amount of water if things get a little sticky. After onions are well coated with spices, mix in the dahl. Once that's covered with the spices, add water and ginger and let the dahl cook to perfection. You will know it's done when the dahl is nice and soft, maybe even a little mushy. Serve over your favorite kind of rice, or with any flat bread you like.
Some tips for my college friends out there: It's okay to experiment a little with this recipe. Don't get so caught up in being "authentic." Believe me, us Indians won't come after you.
The spices in this recipe are pretty universal and can be used in a lot of other dishes. Get to know which ones you like, that way you can add them at your leisure.