The BEST Tarka Dal Recipe

Tadka Dal is a North Indian dish and is a kind of thick, spicy soup usually served with rice or, my personal favourite, just warm chapatis or naan bread which you use to scoop it up!  A delicious warming, comfort food at any time!
Servings: 4 yield(s)
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 60 mins
Total Time: 75 mins
  • 100 g red split lentils
  • 700 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 small tomato (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander (chopped)
  1. Rinse the lentils in cold water and put them in a saucepan with the water and salt and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes skimming off any froth. Now partly cover the pan.
  2. Cook for a further 40 minutes stirring now and again. At the end of the cooking time you should have a pale yellow soup like mixture.
  3. During the final 10 minutes of cooking time fry the onion and garlic in the ghee or clarified butter until the onions are pale brown. Add the turmeric and garam masala to the onions and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir the onion mixture into the cooked lentils. Serve hot sprinkled with the chopped tomato and chopped coriander. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

  • For extra zing you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • If the tarka dal is looking very pale you can add more turmeric.