Soft and flavorful
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Score the peel of the tomatoes with an "X". Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch for a minute. Remove the tomatoes and let cool.
Rinse lentils under cold water and drain. Place rinsed lentils in the same empty pot that you used for the tomatoes. Add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until lentils are soft and mushy.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onions and cook for about 5-10 minutes until translucent and slightly browned. Mix the mashed garlic with a sprinkle of kosher salt and mash the combination into a garlic paste using a spoon or fork. Add the garlic to the onions and cook for about 1 minute.
Add sesame seeds, cumin, fennel, mustard and fenugreek. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Add bay leaf, and turmeric. Stir to combine.
Add lentils AND lentil cooking water to the onion mixture. Add the salt. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
While lentils are cooking, peel the tomatoes and discard the skin. Mash the tomato pulp with your hands. After the lentils have cooked for 10 minutes, add the tomatoes, lime juice and spinach. Stir until combined and spinach is soft.
Taste to see if more salt is needed. Add cilantro. Serve with brown rice or whole wheat naan.