Lentils make an awesome meal, but can take a while to cook properly. By pressure cooking the lentils while you prepare onions and tomatoes, this half-an-hour dish will taste like it's been deliciously simmering for hours.
Dump a couple of cups of dry red lentils in a pressure cooker and cover with water. The best metric I've found is to cover them such that the water comes to a depth above the lentils equal to the distance from your finger tip to between the first and second knuckle.
Heat the water up and let it reach a boil, while stirring periodically to prevent the lentils on the bottom from burning. Seal the lid on, turn down the heat, and cook for 9 minutes at 8 psi. After 9 minutes, take the pressure cooker off the heat and either let it cool naturally, or vent it depending on how much volume you are cooking. If you have a larger volume, the lentils can overcook while they cool naturally.
Step 2: Chop Onions
Coasely chop some onions and start them sauteing while the water and lentils heat up.
Step 3: Roast and Grind Spices
Add a few teaspoons of cumin seeds, corriander seeds, brown and yellow mustard seeds, and a few individual cloves to a small pan. Over low heat and without oil, roast the seeds; keep them moving to avoid burns. Once they start to smell more fragrent and before they change color remove them from the heat, and grind them to a fine powder in a coffee bean grinder.
Step 4: Add Spices, Ginger, and Garlic to the Onions
Mince some garlic, and grate some ginger; mix them and the spices into the cooking onions.
Step 5: Tomatoes
Chop some tomatoes and add to the cooking onions.
Step 6: Mix Everything Together
Remove the lid and check that the lentils have been properly cooked. They should still retain their shape, but leave no white uncooked stuff when you squeeze one in your fingers. You can always cook them a bit more -- try not to overcook.
Dump in the onions and tomatoes, and add some freshly chopped cliantro.
Squeeze in a lemon and add fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with papadon.