Soak the lentil for 45min to 1 hour. This step is optional. If using a pressure cooker, you can skip the soaking. But if planning to cook it on stove top, this soaking helps to speed up the cooking process considerably. If you are living in a place with humid/hot climate, I would suggest a soaking period of less than 1 hour since long soak makes it taste sour.
I pressure cook this with just enough water to cover the lentils along with turmeric
You would need to cook it for just one whistle or about 6-8 minutes (esp. if you have soaked it). Otherwise cook for 2 whistles (or abt 10 min). Make sure not to over cook the lentils. You need it to retain its shape. If you are not sure about this process, simply add enough water to cover it and cook the lentils on the stove top. The pre soaked lentil would take around 10 minutes to achieve the desire texture - it should retain the shape but it will be soft when you press it using your fingers.
Heat some oil - abt 1-2 tsp. in a pan. I use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
and at times Sesame oil. Add the mustard seeds and when they stop popping, add the lentil, chili and asafoetida.
Add the coconut and curry leaves. Since I was using frozen coconut, I prefer to toast it a bit. If using fresh, you can add it towards the end if you don't want to toast it.
Add the drained lentil along with salt and pepper. Toss until combined.
Remove from heat and then add some lemon juice if using.