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Wash and soak the chana daal for about 30 mins. Tip into a large pan, pour over 2 litres of water and boil over a medium heat for 20 mins, until soft but not falling apart or mushy. Add a little more water if it dries up. Drain any remaining water.
Warm the oil and ghee in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Add the cumin seeds and black cardamom, and cook briefly for about 15-20 seconds. Tip in the onion and cook until it turns golden, then lower the heat to low-medium and keep stirring for 5 mins.
Add the garlic and ginger, fry until for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly to avoid sticking.
Add the tomato purée, a splash of water, the turmeric, a good pinch of salt and the red chilli powder. Fry for about 2 mins, stirring, until the water has reduced completely.
Tip in the cooked lentils and pour in 150ml of water. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring regularly to avoid burning the bottom.
Stir in the kasuri methi if using, then cover and cook for about 2-3 mins more. Serve with the chopped chilli, coriander, julienned ginger and chaat masala scattered over, if you like.