For a saatvik, even simpler dal, try the Paruppu.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: About 20-30 mins
You need: 1 cup dal (toor/arhar, moong, or masoor); 1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi/manjapodi)); 1/2 tsp red chili powder (lal mirch); 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera); 1/4 cup onion; 1/4 cup tomato (vegetables are optional); 1 tbsp ghee or oil
How to: Wash the dal well and drain. Add at least two cups of water. Add turmeric and salt to taste and stir well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium/simmer. Cook the dal until soft. If it starts getting too thick while cooking, stir and add a little water. Turn it off when it’s done.
For the tempering: Heat the ghee or oil. When it is hot, add the jeera and let it sputter. Turn the heat to medium if needed. Add the onions and cook well. You can add the red chili powder at the same time. Add the tomatoes. Stir and cook about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the dal and stir well.
Eat over rice.