Red lentil tarka dal

Red lentil tarka dal


7 people made this

About this recipe: This red lentil tarka dal is wonderfully fragrant with a mix of spices that are quickly heated in ghee and added just before serving.


Serves: 3 

  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (1cm) piece root ginger, grated
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • For the tarka
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (Indian butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:35min 

  1. Rinse the lentils. Heat the lentils in a saucepan with about 350ml water, the curry powder, turmeric, 1 of the bay leaves, ginger and salt, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato, and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour the lentils into a serving bowl.
  3. Make the tarka: This is a way of quickly heating the spices to add to the lentils. Heat the ghee in a stainless steel ladle or small saucepan. Check to see if the ghee is hot enough by adding a few cumin seeds. If they sizzle, it is hot enough.
  4. Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, remaining bay leaf and garlic, and cook until fragrant and the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the cayenne pepper. Pour the ghee and spices into the lentils, and stir. Garnish with fresh coriander.

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