Clean whole Masoor dal, wash then soak dal in water for 8 hours or the entire night.
Remove water from dal and wash again. Put the Masoor dal in a cooker, add 2 cups water, baking soda and salt. Close the lid and place the dal on the gas to cook. After 1 whistle goes off lower the flame and cook dal for another 3-4 minutes. Turn off the gas, until all of the pressure escapes from the cooker let us prepare the spices.
Wash then cut tomatoes in 4-5 pieces, break the stems off the green chillies and wash them. Peel and wash ginger. Put the tomatoes, green chillies and ginger in a mixer to make a fine paste.
Pour Ghee in a frying pan(kadhai), put Heeng, Jeera in hot Ghee. After Jeera is roasted add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilly powder then gently fry all of these. Now put the tomato paste and fry the spices till Ghee starts to float over them.
Open the cooker and put the spices in the dal. Mix well, add water according to how thick or thin you want the texture of the dal. Add salt, cook for 2-3 minutes till dal comes to boil. Put half of the coriander leaves and garam masala in dal.
Whole Masoor Dal is ready. Pour dal in a bowl and serve with chapati, naan or rice.
If you want onion in your dal then put 1 finely chopped onion in the pan after Jeera is roasted in Ghee. Also add finely chopped 5-6 cloves of garlic and fry till they turn light pink, put the rest of the spices as instructed above and prepare the dal.