My Free Patterns

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tarka Dhal

I made a couple of really tasty dishes last week, here is one of them:

Tarka Dhal 
(all of my veggie friends, pay attention, this one is for you!)

First, let me tell you about my favourite cookbook--ever!  I mean, I do love my good old red and white chequered Better Homes and Gardens (everyone should have a copy I think)

 but it can't compare to this book when it comes to tasty meals:

Years ago I was in a cheap book outlet (I can't resist) and they had a special on cookbooks.  I bought this Indian one, a Chinese one, and a Polish one.  By FAR this is a book I use once a week.  The other two are headed to the car boot sale in a few weeks. The recipes are amazing, and not just Indian.  There are several that are Thai (I have no idea why they are in an Indian book, but I LOVE Thai) and loads of vegetarian and rice dishes.  What I'm saying is, I love this book!  

Anyway, here is the recipe that I made.  It is vegetarian, and full of lentil goodness.  Lentils are amazing.  I'm just saying.

Tarka Dhal

1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup yellow split peas
5 cups water (or chicken broth, or vegetable broth)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste, depends on how salting your broth is)
either a fresh green pepper, chopped, or dried red chilies

For the Tarka
2 tbs oil
1 onion, sliced
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
handful of mushrooms, sliced
handful (or two) fresh spinach

1) Boil all the lentils and yellow split peas in the water/broth with the ginger, garlic, turmeric and chilies.  Cook until soft.  The book says 15-20 minutes but in my world/kitchen it is much longer, like 45 minutes.
2) Mash the mixture with a fork until it has the consistency of a creamy chicken soup.  I don't really mash mine, probably because I cook it for so long.  Also, my husband likes a coarser texture.
3) If the lentil mixture looks to dry, add a bit more water.  Season with the salt.  To prepare the tarka, heat the oil in a heavy pan and fry the onion.  Then Add the tomatoes and spinach until the spinach is wilted.
4) Spoon the lentils into a serving dish and pour the tarka on top.  Garnish with fresh coriander and mint (if you have it).  

Serves about 4.


  1. I'm vegetarian, and I loooooove Indian and Thai food! I'm too lazy to cook much of it myself, but I love to go out for it!

  2. Cool dish! All the different spices make it sound so fun and flavorful. I like it! :p

  3. yum! i grew up eating lots of dhal, and it became my staple dish in grad school when i had no oven!

    yours looks great, packed with mushrooms and spinach which i just adore.

  4. Hey! found you at "relax & surf" blog hop! if youd like you should come check out my neck of the woods :) ( WE FOLLOW BACK! :)

  5. Wow, I have never heard of Tarka Dahl before, but it looks delicious! I'm gonna have to try it because I have no oven, and this looks so easy to make! thanks for sharing :D

  6. Looks ike you did a good job! Try Sanjeev Kapoor or Tarla Dalal's cookbooks. They have great indian recipies.

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  7. Hi! Looks so good! I'm a new follower, and I found you through Thrifty Thursday blog hoppers. I look forward to seeing more from you! I'd love a follow on my blog too!


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