Tarka Dhal (Authentic Lentil Curry)
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 4 - 6
Tarka Dhal is the perfect south Asian comfort meal. Plus, its healthy, cheap and delicious.
  • 5 table spoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium (100g) white onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup (180g) red split lentils
  • ½ cup (95g) yellow dried split peas (chana dhal)
  • ½ cup (100g) split mung beans
  • 6 cups (720ml) water
  • 2 medium bay leafs
  • 1 table spoon ghee
  • salt to taste (1 table spoon*)
  • 1 tea spoon turmeric
  • ¼ tea spoon chilli powder
  • 1 tea spoon curry powder
  • 2 green chillies, sliced in half lengthways
  • 1 large (150g) red tomato, diced
  • ¼ tea spoon whole cumin seeds
  • ¼ tea spoons mustard seeds
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro (coriander), roughly chopped
  1. SAUTEE the onions in 4 table spoons of oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. WASH the red split lentils, yellow split peas and split mung beans together in water until the water runs clear. Add them to the onions and combine well.
  3. ADD the water, bay leafs, ghee, salt, turmeric, chilli and curry powder. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Stir well, put the lid on and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 25 minutes.
  4. WHISK the lentils for about 1 minute. Add the green chillies and tomato. Simmer for a further 5 minutes with the lid off.
  5. MEANWHILE in a small frying pan over a medium heat, fry the cumin, mustard seeds and garlic in 1 table spoon of oil, until the garlic is light brown (about 1-2 minutes, watch the garlic carefully as the garlic can burn easily and quickly)
  6. CAREFULLY pour the oil, cumin, mustard seed and garlic mixture into lentil curry. Stir, add fresh cilantro and cover with a lid to intensify and retain the aromas and flavour!
  7. SERVE immediately over warm rice or with naan.
*I state the amount of salt I use in all of my recipes as a reference point. However, you are free to adjust the level of salt according to your taste preferences.
Recipe by Something Tasty at http://something-tasty.com/tarka-dhal-authentic-lentil-curry/