Tarka Dal Recipe

Serves 2-4
Difficulty: Easy
Total: 35 mins
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins

A delicious comfort food that’s cheap, healthy and vegan. Tarka dal can be enjoyed equally as a main dish or side.


  • 1 cup (160g) red split lentils
  • 1 medium (100g) onion peeled and finely sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon (7g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (20g) garlic & ginger paste
  • 1 cassia leaf (optional)
  • 1 chef's spoon (40ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, crushed and chopped
  • ¼ small (25g) onion peeled and finely sliced
  • handful of fresh coriander


  1. Wash lentils in cold water until the water runs clear

  2. Place lentils in saucepan and add 500ml water

  3. Add onion, salt, turmeric powder, garlic & ginger paste and cassia leaf and cook for 20 mins on a medium heat stirring frequently until the lentils soften and break up completely

  4. Add 100ml water to loosen up the dal and bring to a boil

  5. To make the Tarka
    Heat the pan on a medium high heat and add the vegetable oil

  6. Add the chopped garlic and onions, fry until they turn golden brown

  7. Add the hot tarka to the hot dal

  8. Stir and simmer for 2 mins

  9. Add handful of coriander