In a pressure cooker or open pot add the daal with 6 cups of water.
Add the chopped lauki, cardamom pods, cinnamon, cloves, 1 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste.
Cook this until the lentils are soft ( about ½ hour) and set aside.
In a wok or kadai, heat 2 tbs oil.
Add the asafetida and jeera.
Add chopped onions and stir for 5 minutes.
Add 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp turmeric, chili powder and salt.
Cook for about a 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
Add this mixture to the cooked lentils.
Bring the lentils to a boil and slowly simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and serve hot.