Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium heat
Add the onion and minced chili to the pot and stir. Cook until the onion beginning to soften and become translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger to the pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic is cooked and the onion is beginning to brown.
Stir in the spices and cook, stirring occasionally, until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and the salt, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any flavourful brown bits.
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. The tomatoes should darken and it should smell amazing.
Pour in the can of coconut milk, about 3/4 of a can of water, and the lentils. Stir to combine.
Turn up the heat to medium high to bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to medium low.
Simmer and stir occasionally for about 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have collapsed. They should not be al dente at all - red lentils should be VERY mushy. Don't worry, you can't really overcook red lentils.
Once the lentils are cooked if the mixture is too watery, uncover and simmer without the lid to allow some liquid to evaporate. If the mixture seems too dry (at any point during the cooking) you can add a bit more water.
Serve with rice and bread, garnish with a small sprinkling of unsweetened shredded coconut (optional).