Tarka daal

A super simple and comforting bowl of lentil curry.


  • 1 cup red split lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 garlic cloves whole
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cuemin seeds
  • Half an onion, thinly sliced
  • Splash of oil
  • Sliced green bullet chillies
  • Chopped coriander


Best cooked in a pressure cooker.

  1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly then soak in water for 30 mins ( if you’re using a pressure cooker you don’t need to soak them).
  2. For one cup of lentils add 3 cups of water and bring to boil.
  3. Add the cloves of garlic and red chilli powder and let it cook in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. If you’re not using a pressure cooker, let it cook for 30 minutes until it’s all mushy!
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir the pot to ensure that the garlic cloves have blended. The texture and consistency should be like a thick soup. If there’s too much water, keep cooking it.
  5. Then add salt to taste and the chopped green chillies.
  6. To make the tarka, in a separate pan, add a splash of oil and fry the onions and cumin until the onions are a golden brown colour.
  7. Pour this over the lentils and add chopped coriander.

Serve with boiled rice or chapatti, some mango pickle and yogurt!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ooh, yum. I love tarka daal! In recent years, the curry houses near me seem to have dropped the tarka at the end, which is really what makes this dish. Have you noticed this worrying trend?


    1. chaiwaliuk says:

      Haha I know what you mean, I’ve noticed the same thing too!


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