Masoor Dal refers to red lentils. They cook very quickly and are budget-friendly making them perfect for a weeknight dinner. In this recipe, they are cooked with aromatics including onion, ginger, garlic and warming spices.
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, tomatoes and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and tomato soften and the excess liquid evaporates, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes.
Add the lentils and stir to coat with the tomato mixture. Add 3 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the lentils are tender and have lost their shape, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; if the mixture gets too thick, add 1/4 cup of water at a time to loosen.
Divide the lentils among bowls. Top with the yogurt, cilantro and chiles. Serve with the naan.