Peel, chop and dice your onion, into medium sized cubes.
Peel your ginger ready for grating. Peel your garlic ready for crushing.
Wash your lentils in a separate pan, use cold water, drain. Do until the water runs relatively clear.
Heat your (preferably heavy bottom) saucepan, put in a tablespoon of oil. I use groundnut, feel free to use whatever, just not olive oil. Add your cumin seeds.
Once the seeds are sizzling, add your onions. Cook, soften, brown. Lower the heat to avoid burning.
Grate your ginger in using a mini grater or micro plane. Stir.
Crush your garlic in. I like a lot of garlic, feel free to use a bit less. Stir.
Ah, heresy. Chop up a veg stock cube. Traditionally this isn't used. I've been making dhal for over 20 years. It helps give a depth of flavour. Your choice. Put into saucepan.
Add the chilli powder, salt, garam masala and pepper and stir.
Put in your washed lentils.
Add water to up to two thirds of the pan depth. Stir. Cover the pan.
Cook on a low to medium heat for around 25 minutes. You'll need to check every five or ten to make sure it isn't burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Half way it should look a bit like this. Top up with water, cold or boiling.
Have a coffee. I like a flat white.
The consistency should be thicker by the end of the time, as the lentils soften and cook. Taste for spice. Top up to taste. Add your ground coriander powder.
Time's up and you should have a nice thick soup. Serve with bread of your choice, or preferably with boiled basmati rice, which can be made in tandem.
If you want a guide on making near foolproof/ perfect boiled basmati rice, leave a comment.