1To make the dal: Combine 1 pound dried split red lentils with 1 teaspoon ground turmeric and salt to taste.
2Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils disintegrate into a thick, soupy puree.
3To make the tadka: Fry 1 teaspoon each ajwain, dill, and cumin seeds in 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter) until they turn brown and release their aromas. Add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons grated ginger and fry briefly.
4Just before serving, add salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to the lentils. Pour the hot tadka over the dal and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.