I don’t know about you but I can’t go out for a curry without ordering a nice side of tarka dhal. It’s the perfect mild accompaniment for a curry.
Tarka dhal is also nice added to curries suck as dhansaks.
To make this tarka dhal recipe, I use Massoor dhal (split small red lentils). Red lentils are available in most supermarkets though you will find them cheaper at Asian markets. Massoor dhal, unlike other lentils only needs to be washed and rinsed under cold water. I do let mine soak in fresh water for about a half hour while I prepare the other ingredients but it isn’t really necessary.
If you are trying to eat healthily, don’t add the fried onion and reduce the amount of ghee. You could also use olive oil but the end result will of course be different. Sod the diet. There’s plenty of goodness in the lentils. Eat some ghee!
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- 250g Massoor dhal – rinsed with water
- 3 tablespoon ghee
- 1 finely sliced onion – fried in oil until nicely browned
- 10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 x cinnamon stick
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pour about 400ml of water over your lentils in a sauces pan and simmer over medium high heat until tender. Remove any foam that forms on the top. Cooking the lentils should take about 25 minutes.
- While your lentils are cooking, melt the ghee in a frying pan and add the curry leaves, cumin seeds and cinnamon stick.
- Add the chopped garlic, garam masala and turmeric and stir it into the hot ghee.
- Stir in the fried onion slices.
- Pour the ghee mixture (the tarka) over the lentils and stir it all in.
- Serve hot.