Put the lentils, water, and next 7 ingredients (through salt) into a pressure cooker and lock the lid. (See Notes below for regular stovetop cooking.) Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (on the Instant Pot, select manual and change the time to 10 minutes). Allow pressure to drop naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick-release.
Open lid carefully and check to make sure lentils are tender. If not, continue to cook without pressure until lentils are fully cooked. Add garam masala and stir vigorously to make the lentils creamy. It should be a medium consistency, so add a little water if it’s too thick. Keep warm.
While the lentils are cooking, heat a small non-stick skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Add the red pepper flakes and cook until onions are softened and touched with brown.
Check the seasoning of the lentils and add additional salt and garam masala to taste. Serve over rice and top each serving with the browned onions.
If cooking without a pressure cooker, bring ingredients red lentils through salt to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook until lentils are soft, stirring often and adding water if they start to get too dry. Different types of dal take different amounts of time, so allow at least 30 minutes. Proceed with the final three steps.One serving is zero Smart Points on Weight Watchers Freestyle program.