This recipe came from a cooking show on the BBC back in the '80s by actress Madhur Jaffrey.
1-1/2 cups channa dal or yellow split peas, picked over, washed and drained
5 cups water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 thin slices of unpeeled ginger
1/4 to 1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chili powder
Put the dal in a heavy pot along with the water. Bring to a boil and remove any surface scum. Add the turmeric and ginger. Cover, leaving the lid just very slightly ajar, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for one and a half hours or until the dal is tender. Stir every 5 minutes or so during the last half hour of cooking to prevent sticking. Remove the ginger slices. Add the salt and garam masala to the dal. Stir to mix.
Heat the ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. A couple of seconds later, put in the garlic. Stir and fry until the garlic pieces are lightly browned. Put the chili powder into the pan. Immediately lift the pan off the heat and pour the mixture into the pot with the dal. Stir to mix.