Soak all the lentils in enough water to cover by at least two inches, for a couple of hours.
Drain the lentils and then add three cups of water, turmeric and some salt. Cook, covered, on the stove or in a pressure cooker until tender. If you are cooking on the stovetop, be sure to monitor the water level as the dal cooks because you don't want it all to evaporate and your dal to burn. Add more water if needed.
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the cloves, asafetida, cumin seeds and broken red chillies.
When the cumin sputters, add the ginger-garlic paste and cook, stirring, until it just begins to change color.
Add the cumin, coriander and chilli powders. Stir to mix, then add the tomatoes.
Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes break down.
Add the dal and let it come to a boil. Add water if the dal is too thick. Once it's boiled, lower the flame and let it simmer around 10 minutes.
Add more salt, if needed, and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve piping hot with rice or rotis.
Recipe by Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes at http://holycowvegan.net/2010/10/low-fat-rajasthani-five-lentil-curry.html