First, rinse the lentils. The best way to do this is by putting them in a large bowl, covering with cold water and then gently swirling them around with your hands until the water becomes cloudy. Drain and repeat at least three times until the water is clear. Set them to one side.
Place a medium saucepan on a medium heat and add the oil. When it’s hot, add the cumin seeds, green chilli, garlic and ginger, and fry for a few
minutes until everything is golden and smelling delicious. Now add the
onion, fresh tomatoes and ½ teaspoon of salt and stir well.
Add the lentils to the saucepan, followed by the boiling water and the turmeric. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes until the lentils are soft but still have a bit of bite to them. Once the dhal is cooked, taste for seasoning – it may need a touch more salt.
Serve topped with the chilli flakes and a spoonful of coconut yoghurt. If I have some toasted nuts or seeds lying around, I often add these too for texture.