Tarka Dal




serves 2


125g Yellow Lentils - Chana dal or Mung dal
75g Red Lentils - Masoor Dal

Fresh Ginger, finely chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
3-4 green chillies, left whole but slit for heat
3 tbsp Ghee or melted butter
2 tsp Cumin seeds
0.5 Large Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
0.5 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander  
  small pinch of asafoetida  
  handful of fresh coriander, chopped  
  salt to taste  


Wash the lentils thoroughly until the water runs clear.

Put the lentils in a pan with enough water to cover them by roughly 3cm centimetres. Bring to the boil and skim the surface of any scum that appears. Add the onion, ginger, tomatoes, turmeric, chillies, 3 cloves of garlic and some salt.

Return to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered until the lentils are cooked and the dal has a thick but runny consistency. Usually at least around 40 minutes but time may be longer if you've added more water at the start. If it becomes too thick then fix by adding water.

Heat the ghee or butter in a frying pan on a medium-low heat, add the cumin seeds, and a small pinch of asafoetida. Once the cumin seeds begin to darken add a clove of garlic, then once begin to colour add the garam masala and ground coriander. Heat for only a few seonds and take off the heat.

Pour the fried spices (tarka) into the lentils and mix well. Add the chopped fresh coriander and serve.

Source: Adapted from Anjum Anand - Indian Vegetarian Feast

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