Wash and soak daal/lentils for half an hour. If not using pressure cooker then soak for atleast 4 hours.
In pressure cooker or a medium deep pan, add oil and heat on medium heat.
Test the heat by adding a few mustard seeds to the oil; if they crack immediately, the oil is ready.
Add mustard seeds, and after a few seconds, add bay leaves and red chili/green chili, stir for 10-15 seconds.
Add the chopped cilantro and cook for a minute or so until it crisps up.
Add the tomatoes and turmeric. Mix well and cook covered until tomatoes are half done.(3-4 minutes)
Rinse Daal and add with water and salt. Mix.
Pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium, or cook covered for 20-30 minutes on medium-low, or until daal is starts to mix with the water.
Serve hot with fresh cumin Rice.
Add lemon juice if needed. Or serve along with some Indian Pickle/Achar.
Cumin Rice: In a deep pan, add a teaspoon of oil, add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, heat on medium till fragrant. Add washed 1/2 cup of Basmati rice. Mix and add 1 cup of water, 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste. Mix and cook partially covered until rice is done. Serve hot.Nutritional values based on one serving without rice