This didn’t work so well the first time, but maybe with red lentils it would.
1 cup red lentils (skinless masoor dal), washed and drained
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 medium onion, half finely shopped and half cut into fine half rings
3/4-1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
2-3 dried hot red chilies, each broken in half
Put the red lentils, 3 1/2 cups water, turmeric, and the chopped onions into a medium pan. Bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn heat to low, and cook 45 minutes or until the lentils are very tender. Add the salt and mix in.
Pour the oil into a small frying pan set over medium heat. When hot, put in the sliced onions and stri a few times. Add the garlic and chilies. Stir and fry until the onions and garlic have turned a rich golden-red color. Pour the contents of the frying pan into the pot with the dal. Stir to mix.
[ From “At Home with Madhur Jaffrey” ]