Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to get hot. Add the garlic, garam masala, cumin seeds, and turmeric and cook for 20 seconds. Add the tomatoes
and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lentils and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cook until the lentils
are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve in a bowl and garnish
with fresh cilantro sprigs.
To make garam masala:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the coriander
seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, black peppercorns, mustard seeds
, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks
, bay leaves, and chiles on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to an electric spice grinder
, or use a mortar and pestle
and grind by hand. Grind to a fine powder. Store the garam masala
in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups