Dal is an Indian word for lentils. This one is all done according to taste so you have to play with it to figure out what suits you.
Chuck gets a bag of red lentils from the bulk section at our co-op. And a 14 oz. can of coconut milk, but you can just use water. Frequently, there is a large sweet potato peeled and cubed up, or a package of paneer, likewise cubed into bite sized chunks.
He puts about 2 tablespoons of curry powder in as he starts (not garam masala, they are different). Sometimes, he adds more at the end. How much goes in depends on your taste and the strength of the curry powder.
Start with additional water in a pot on medium so you can add it as you go along as it is absorbed by the lentils, like you do with the broth for risotto. How much you eventually use really depends on how thick you want the dal to be.
For 2 cups of lentils, start with @ 4 cups of water, adding the coconut milk toward the end.
If you’re using sweet potatoes, put them in at the beginning. If you’re using paneer, put it in at the end. Add salt and additional curry powder to taste as you are ready to serve.