Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Add 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds and toast for a few seconds. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden-brown, less than 1 minute. Add the onions and tomatoes. Cook about 2 minutes before adding the turmeric. Continue to cook until golden-brown.
Add the lentils, and cook stirring, until the lentils are soft and change colors. Add 4 cups water, while stirring, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Season with the 1/2 tablespoon salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds. Garnish with the cilantro.
This is a dairy-free, vegan-friendly recipe. Ghee can be substituted for the canola oil.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.