The eternal Bengali staple, cooked the way we have it at home practically everyday.
Split red lentils (masoor/mushur).
Sunflower/canola oil OR ghee.
pNaanch foron (seasoning).
NOTE: pNaanch foron is made up of --> methi seeds+kalo jeera (kalonji)+mouri (fennel seeds)+radhuni (wild celery seeds) OR shada (whole regular) jeera+something else that escapes me at the moment (but is probably mustard seeds).
Boil the daal, with a touch of salt, till it's soft and mushy and each lentil stops holding shape well. You should begin with the water an inch above the daal and drain any excess water in the end. Mash the daal further with a spatula.
Now heat a tablespoon of ghee or oil in a pan/wok. When the ghee/oil heats, lower the flame completely and add the seasoning. If you've overheated the oil (if it's smoking even slightly) then the seasoning will burn, so turn off the flame and let it cool for a minute. Fry the seasoning for a minute (or till you can smell it frying and see it chaning colour) and then add the mushy daal. Fry well on a low flame for a couple of minutes (adding a little oil or ghee if necessary). Add water in a 2:1 ratio to daal and stir gentle but thoroughly till the daal is now a thick liquidy mixture. Add a tiny bit of turmeric and stir it in. Add half a spoon of sugar and a pinch of salt and mix that in. Let it come to a boil, boil for a minute, and then slow cook for five minutes. Eat with white rice and a lovely vegetable curry OR deep-fried vegetables.