Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; discard bay leaf. Place lentils in a small bowl.
Combine 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, salt, turmeric, paprika, and red pepper in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in spice mixture, tomato, and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove pan from heat; stir in lentils, lemon juice, and black pepper. Place lentil mixture in a food processor; process until smooth.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat, and add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds. Sauté seeds for 15 seconds, and drizzle over dal. Sprinkle with fresh mint.
This was delicious and so quick to make. I never knew daal cooked so quickly because most recipes i follow said to cook much longer. I added much more garlic - i used about 4 cloves and also used some ginger. I skipped blending the spices and used mostly ground spiced. I also added curry powder, mustard seeds and coriander. Oh and chopped carrots too. It turned out great. Thanks for the recipe.