Tarka Dal

Tarka Dal

Tarka dal with accompaniments

Tarka dal with accompaniments

Quick info

  • Recipe difficulty - medium
  • Preparation time - 10 minutes
  • Cooking time - 30 minutes
  • Serves - 4
  • Dietary - Vegetarian Vegan Dairy free
  • Allergens -


A gently spiced, comforting and warming lentil dish, which is a must as part of any indian meal.

The addition of coconut milk is from the southern indian style.

Dal Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 500g red lentils

Tarka Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable (rapeseed) oil
  • 10 dried curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds


  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen scales
  • Knife
  • Large saucepan
  • Measuring jug
  • Small saucepan with a thick bottom
  • Wooden spoon

Dal Method

Step 1

In a large saucepan, place 500ml of water with the lentils, roughly chopped large onion, coconut milk, tomato, red chilli, turmeric, ground cumin and coriander and bring up to the boil

Step 2

Stir well, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lentils are cooked to a soft mush. If the water evaporates before the lentils are cooked, add 125ml of boiling water

Tarka Method

Step 1

In a small saucepan, heat the oil on a low heat

Step 2

Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds, place a lid on top and allow the seeds to start popping

Step 3

Add the finely chopped onion and curry leaves and fry on a low heat until the onion is golden brown

Step 4

Tip the onion and spice mix into the simmering lentils, add a pinch or two of salt to taste and cook for another 5 minutes

Nutrition per serving portion (serves 4)

Each portion provides on average

Energy 854kj 204kcal 10.2%

Fat 5.55g 8%

Saturates 0.45g 2%

Carbohydrates 30.5g 31%

Sugars 8.57g 10%

Salt 0.3g 5%

Protein 10.6g Med

Fibre 1.97g Low

Food Value






Vitamin a

Vitamin c

Vitamin e




Pantothenic acid





Lentils are a great source of plant based protein, helping to keep us feeling fuller for longer.

Vitamins and Minerals

Lentils are also a good source of a variety of important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B-6, iron, potassium and magnesium.

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