Tarka Dahl.

recipe name

May 7th, 2010

This spicy rich tarka dal is incredible and also very quick to make. Tarka refers to the way the dal is seasoned at the end of the cooking process.

Makes four serves



  • 1 1/2 cups yellow split peas
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Seasoning (tarka)

  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 whole dried chillies
  • 8 curry leaves


Rinse the lentils and split peas well. Place them in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, plus an extra inch. Add the turmeric and salt. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally or the peas will stick to the bottom of the pan.

While the dahl is cooking finely chop the onion and the garlic. In another saucepan melt the margarine, then add the oil. Turn heat up high, then add the cumin, mustard seeds, chilli and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the onion and garlic. Turn the heat down and cook for ten minutes.

When the split peas are cooked add the onion and spice mixture to the saucepan, cover with a lid and turn the heat off. Leave to sit for five minutes. Serve with chapati or rice.