Tarka Dal

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Tarka Dal
In India, Dal is used to describe not only an ingredient (split peas; lentils/peas/beans), but a dish made from it. Dal can be a thin soup or more like a stew. This recipe uses red lentils. Use your red lentils as it states on the packaging, it will usually say to rinse thoroughly before using. Dal can be served as a curry accompaniment or is equally delicious serviced as a vegetarian main dish with cucumber raita, mango chutney or Indian breads as you wish. Preparation time is approx. 15 mins and cooking time of lentils and the spiced butter takes no more than 30 mins. It can serve up to 4 people as a side dish or two to three as a main dish.
  1. Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water then place into a pan and cover with approx. ¾ pint of water. Bring to the boil add the turmeric and salt, stir and simmer for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally until the lentils have lost their shape and become mushy but not too dry. Add a little more water if necessary.
  2. Spiced butter: Place the ghee/oil into a heavy pan and heat gently until hot. Add the cumin seeds to the oil and cook for 30 seconds, do not burn, and then add the coriander powder. Add the onion and cook for approx.10 minutes or until it becomes a medium brown colour then add the garlic, chilli and root ginger and chilli flakes if using. Cook this for about 4 minutes on a low heat.
  3. Add the spiced butter to the lentils and stir well.
Recipe Notes

Place in a serving dish, sprinkle with the freshly chopped coriander to decorate and drizzle with chilli oil if required.

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