Soak chana dal in water for a few hours prior to use.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, bay leaf, cinammon, ginger and garlic pastes, and cloves.
Add onions and let it heat till they turn translucent.
Add chopped tomato and curry leaves and then the chana dal, making sure to add enough water to cover the dal as it boils.
Cook on medium-high heat with a closed lid for 15-20min until the chana dal softens, while continuing to replenish the water now and again as it evaporates (make sure that you add boiling and not cold water).
As soon as chana begins to soften, add the sliced capsicum (or diced bottlegourd, if that is your preference).
Stir it in well with the chana and continue to cook until both the chana and capsicum (or bottlegourd), have softened sufficiently.