Back in my Masters and even while I was working in VA I used to add Dal, tomatoes, mirchi, turmeric and pressure cook it and then add the thadka to it. But trust me cooking the Dal and tomatoes separately will definitely give the dal a very special taste, which is worth the effort. If you feel who on earth will have so much time? Try doing this -freeze the pressure cooked dal and when ever you wanna make dal remove a portion of it you can add it to spinach, squash, sambar.
Tomatoes - 5 +* roma
Toor dal- 1/2 Cup
Water- 1 Cup
Paprika - 1/2 tbsp **Not many ppl prefer this but I just love the color that it adds to the dal**
Green Chilli - 2 small
Turmeric- 1 tea spoon
Garlic- 3 whole cloves
Tamarind paste- 1/2 tea spoon ** Optional**
Curry Leaves - 5
Jeera- A few
Urad Dal - A few
Mustard Seeds- A few
Red Chill - 2
Hinge- A pinch
-Pressure cook the dal, until you hear a minimum of 3 whistles
-Meanwhile add some oil for the thadka after the oil is hot add chopped garlic cloves, mustard seeds, jeera, urad dal, green mirchi, red mirchi, curry leaves and once you here the chit pat sound then add hinge.
-In the same pan add tomato's, salt and tamarind paste and close the lid and allow them to cook.
-Mash the dal that it pressure cooked, Abhi prefers it when the dal is silky smooth so I prefer grinding the dal for a couple of minutes before I add the tomatoes in it.
-Add paprika and let it cook for some time and garnish it with cilantro.
P.S: My mom always used to say add more tomato's less dal, eat more curry less rice. Its always better to have more veggies and less carbs, just a thought I would like to share.