While Masoor starts life as pink, a little persuasion by hot water quickly converts it to a pale yellow. It's color makes it the easiest dal to recognise but people usually see the prepared version and go looking for a yellow dal. Bengalis use it a lot by itself while most other communities mix it with other dals. A light dal, it does not stand up well to heavy masalas.
Here's my favorite recipe for it, which goes wonderfully well with spicy pickles and crunchy fries.