Tadka Dal

Prep 25 mins

Cook 1 hr

Serves 6

Difficulty 3

Dal is a dish that has a very long history in India, and there are many incarnations which vary from region-to-region, and in the variety of pulse used (dal is the name for legumes in general). Tadka refers to the seasoning at the end where spices are fried in oil or ghee and spooned over to add flavour. There are many variations of dal and this is our version, which may not be traditional. We love all the spices and the creamy texture of the legumes – it's the ultimate feel-good food. This version sees yellow split peas simply boiled with turmeric, then the flavour comes at the end with the addition of the spices. It’s simply delicious.

500g yellow split peas

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp ghee, olive oil

1 tbsp diced ginger (6cm piece)

2 tsp ground turmeric

1.4 litres water

Coriander and yoghurt, to serve. Steamed basmati rice (optional), to serve


3 tbsp ghee

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp fenugreek

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp chilli flakes

Handful of curry leaves

1. Soak the split peas in a large bowl of water (30 minutes).

2. Heat ghee in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add onion and stir occasionally until tender (20 minutes). Add ginger and turmeric and stir occasionally until fragrant (1 minute). Add drained yellow split peas, stir then add water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and then cook until peas are very soft (50 minutes to 1 hour). Keep warm.

3. For the tadka, heat the ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and stir occasionally until golden-brown and crisp (10-15 minutes). Add spices and curry leaves and stir to combine and remove from heat and drain solids through a metal sieve.

4. Serve dal in bowls with tadka spooned over and with a dollop of yoghurt and rice if desired.



Recipe and image by Eatable.

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