The lentils should be saucy but not soupy. Remove the cloves and the cardamom pods (they're edible, though) before serving.
Add oil to the pan, along with garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add red lentils, salt/bouillon, and water to cover the lentils 1/2 inch. Add cloves or cardamom. Bring to boil and cook for 20-30 minutes... test the lentils to make sure they’re done, meaning that the center of the lentil is no longer hard.