Soak them for half an hour. Fry up some onions till soft, add curry powder mild/medium/hot depending on how you like it, teasp tomato puree. Add the lentils and water to cover, bring to boil and simmer gently till they are tender. Skim off any froth that forms.
soak o/n. Fry some onions until soft, add tsp pureed garlic, tsp ginger. Add lentils, water, and salt, cumin, coriander powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, couple of whole green chillis and 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, diced. (I also add a dash of worcester sauce, but doubt my indian in laws would approve!) Simmer til tender, garnish with fresh coriander.