Rinse the rice under cold water. Tip it into a pan. Pour in 450 ml boiling water. Add a pinch of salt. Cover. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat right down. Simmer for 25 mins till the rice is cooked and the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat. Leave to steam, lid on, for 5 mins.
Rinse the lentils under cold running water. Tip into a pan. Add 1 ltr of cold water. Cover. Bring to the boil. Skim off any residue that rises to the surface. Drain the lentils and rinse them again.
While the lentils come to the boil, peel and chop the onion. Peel and grate the ginger. Dice the aubergine into small cubes about 1 cm big.
Wipe the lentil pan clean. Add 1 tbsp oil. Warm over a medium heat. Add the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Fry for around 5 mins till the onion is soft and glossy. Stir often so it doesn’t stick.
Add the ginger, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp garam masala to the onions. Stir for 1 min till the pan smells spicy. Tip the lentils back into the pan. Add 350 ml cold water. Bring to the boil. Cover. Turn the heat right down and simmer for about 20 mins.
While the daal cooks, warm 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add the aubergine. Fry for 5-10 mins. Turn every so often till they’re golden all over. Lift out of the pan onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Juice the lemon. When the daal is thick, stir in the lemon juice and the Demerara sugar. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss the baby leaf salad with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
Finely chop the chervil. Serve the daal topped with the fried aubergine and chopped chervil, with the steamed rice and salad on the side.