Place the oil in a medium pot set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the curry powder and tomato paste and cook 1 minute more. Mix in the lentils and broth and bring to a gentle simmer. (The mixture should just gently bubble; lower heat as needed.)
Simmer the lentils 30 minutes, or until tender and the mixture has thickened and is stew-like. Stir in the cilantro, season with salt and serve.
Options: If you’re not vegetarian, you could use chicken broth or stock in this recipe instead of the suggested vegetable broth. Instead of cilantro, swirl chopped fresh mint or basil into the lentils. For very spicy lentils, use hot curry powder in this dish.