Tarka Dhal


(Serves 4)

250gms moong dal, washed & drained

1.2 litres water

1 tsp turmeric powder

3 tbsp vegetable oil

Pinch of asafoetida

2 green chillies slit lengthwise

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

10-12 curry leaves

4 cloves of garlic sliced or roughly crushed

2 tomatoes roughly chopped

Salt to taste

pinch of sugar

juice of half a lemon

Chopped coriander for garnish


  1. In a medium sauce pan add the moong dal with the water and turmeric powder. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to a medium, partially cover with lid and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir a few times through the cooking process. Add a little more water if the mix is too thick. Cool slightly and roughly mash with a potato masher or a hand blender and set aside.

  2. In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil over medium heat, add the asafoetida, slit green chillies and cumin seeds; fry for a few seconds. Now add the curry leaves and garlic continue to fry for 5 seconds.

  3. Put in the tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes. At this stage, tip in the cooked dal and stir well. Season to taste, add a pinch of sugar, simmer gently for 2-3 minutes on a low heat stirring halfway through. Turn the heat off and add lemon juice and garnish with coriander. Serve hot with your choice of bread or plain rice.
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