i learned to make this in aberdeen, from my flatmate hamidur salim laskar, who learned it from his mother. he told me it was tarka dahl, or dal, or daal, or dhal. he didn't spell it for me.

here is approximately what you might need to prepare this dish:
a large pot (with lid, or improvised cover)
a small pan or skillet
a heat source for cooking
something to stir with, like a large spoon
cooking oil (two portions, preferably liberal, several tablespoons each)
a teaspoon or so of salt
a large onion (or two small, or whatever you like)
lentils (usually brown, about a pound or 400g)
a teaspoon (rounded?) of turmeric
some hot peppers (chili or jalapeno or something hot)
one or two or three or four cloves of garlic

basmati rice, which you can start cooking after adding the water to the tarka dahl, because the lentils will take a while to cook

soaking the lentils is probably optional
but i suppose one should wash them and try to pick out small rocks or twigs if there are any, and you could soak them for ten minutes, or an hour or whatever
putting oil in the large pot, liberally, and then salt, teaspoon or to taste
then when hot, a chopped onion or so (this onion could be rather large)
fry for a while
until the onion seems to become translucentish
then, well, then you could put the lentils in (drain them if they were soaking)
and then you stir them up some and sort of let them get a little fry/steamed with lid on
then you add the turmeric, a teaspoon or so?
then keep stirring, and put lid on when not stirring
there's only so much wetness and oil in there at present, so be careful not to burn them
then, as they are just about to start sticking to the bottom, add water. water that covers the lentils, and then some, and let them boil away for some time, stirring occasionally, lid on otherwise and if they seem to need it, add water once in a while
this may take over an hour i suppose, until it's nice and soupy, the lentils begin to break down.
whilst that's going on, you could begin to chop your one or two or three or four cloves of garlic, and separately, your one or more hot green peppers (i have used jalapeno, but chili peppers, or anything hot should work)
then get a small skillet or pan, and put a liberal amount of oil in it, and heat it up nice and hot hot hot, and then when hot it is, sizzling like, put the chopped hot pepper into the oil, and it will fry and might emit pepper gas, so be careful. when the pepper is starting to brown, dump the chopped garlic in, it will cook fast this garlic, stir it some, and then, before it burns, just as it turns brownish, take the lid off the lentils, and quickly dump the garlic and pepper in, and grab a spoonful of the lentils and drop it into the garlic and pepper frying pan and swish it around to get the last of the garlic, and dump it back into the lentils, and then stir up the garlic/pepper/lentil mixture, cover and let sit for a while so as to impart the delicious taste of the fried garlic and pepper to the lentil mixture
serve with basmati rice, or as desired
excellent the next day in a bowl with bread for dipping in

some people also like to put a teaspoon or two of curry powder into a cup of plain yogurt, stir, and use as garnish

tarka dahl is an excellent accompaniment to a curry dish