Category: Dal
Rating: 3.96
Servings: 4


1/2 cup red split lentils
3 cup water
1 teaspoon level salt
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
4 tablespoon melted ghee
1 pinch turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 small tomato
2 teaspoon chopped coriander

Directions: How to Cook Tarka Dal

Check the lentils for stones and wash them in several changes of water or until the water starts to run clear.

Put the lentils into a saucepan with the water and salt and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer uncoverd for 20 minutes skimming off the froth that collects at the top. Now partly cover the pan.

Cook for a total of an hour stirring now and again. At the end of the hour you should have a pale yellow soup like mixture.

While the dal is cooking fry the onion and garlic in the ghee until the onions are pale brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic as this will add a bad flavour to the dish.

Add the turmeric and garam masala to the onions and cook for a few more seconds.

Stir the onion mixture into the cooked lentils. Serve hot sprinkled with chopped tomato and green coriander.

This dish can also be used as an ingredient in chicken Dhansak. Make a chicken curry using the basic sauce recipe I posted the other day but using less of the curry sauce. Also put a Tablespoon or two of lemon juice in with the sauce when you are making the dish. In case you are wondering what ghee is, it is clarified butter. If you cannot get it you can make it. Here is how I do it.

Melt a pack of unsalted butter in a pan and then drain through a coffee filter. Discard all of the sludge that is left and leave the rest to cool. You should be left with a clear golden liquid that sets hard. Ghee is used in indian cooking because it has a much higher burn temperature than normal butter. Posted to MM-Recipes Digest V4 #257 by Matt on Sep 21, 1997

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Related recipes:
Murkha Dal
Chana Dal (Curried Chick-Peas)
Masala Dal
Makhani Dal
Shahi Dal

Recent comments and reviews for this recipe:

Chris writes:

I truly enjoyed this recipe! It was very eary to follow and tastes great. I did add a little hot chili to make it spicy ~ I just LOVE my food hot! Thank you for this recipe.

Posted on 29 Mar 2008, 00:10 ET

remmy writes:

This is a fantastic recipe. I have never been a great lover of lentils but this recipe has won me over. Thanks!

Posted on 09 Apr 2008, 12:34 ET

dali writes:

This is a very yummy dhal. However, the recipe only made 2-3 servings. I found 1 onion to be too much.

Posted on 15 Jul 2008, 22:46 ET

K writes:

Wow! Absolutely fantastic Dal Tarka! Yummyyy! (I just made it per ur recipe)...

Posted on 08 Oct 2008, 16:31 ET

Tempe writes:

This was FANTASTIC! I instead used yellow split peas (so it cooked in half the time), added 2 hard boiled eggs (whole), and served it with garlic-caraway-seed basmati rice (add 2 cloves garlic minced and about a tablespoon whole caraway seeds to a pot with olive oil, saute till garlic starts to brown, add dry rice, stir to coat with olive oil, then add water and cook according to directions). I will DEFINITELY be making this again!

Posted on 15 May 2009, 21:53 ET

Big Curry Bob writes:

Cooked this last night and both my friends and I all agreed that this is one of, if not the, best dahl we've ever had. Far superior to most restaurants this takes some beating!

Posted on 07 Mar 2010, 07:09 ET

paula writes:

Best Dal I have tasted anywhere & so easy!

Posted on 24 Mar 2010, 16:49 ET

Kelsey writes:

This is amazing. I used vegan butter, it didn't make alot but I can eat alot of Indian!

Posted on 12 Jul 2010, 03:15 ET

jamie o writes:

good recipe ....a cinnamon stick goes well with this.pukka

Posted on 16 Oct 2010, 11:40 ET

blueboy 69 writes:

good recipe..first time i made dahl and it was yum

Posted on 29 May 2011, 15:56 ET

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