We start by spreading the lentils out on a piece of wax paper and then we pick out any debris. We put the lentils into a large bowl, cover with water, stir, and carefully dump out the water. We repeat, adding more water, stirring, and dumping out, two more times. Then we put the rinsed lentils into our dutch oven, cover with the water, and start heating the pan. We add the bay leaves, garlic, a slice of ginger, and some salt, and cover. In our food processor, we grate some carrots until we have 1/2 cup. We add this to the lentils, and bring the mixture to a boil, lower it to a simmer, and cover for about 15 minutes. We want the lentils to be tender before we add the tomatoes. We add the tomatoes, bell pepper, some more salt and some pepper and continue to simmer gently while we prepare the onions.
In a large pan, we heat the olive oil. We add the onions and cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes until translucent. Then we add the ginger and continue to cook for a few minutes. We add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne, and cook for another minute. We add this mixture to the dutch oven and cook for a few more minutes. When we are ready to eat, we add the lemon juice, and taste for salt and pepper.
We garnish each bowl with cilantro and serve immediately.