The famous tarka dal we’ve all tried in restaurants but this recipe far surpasses what you think is tarka dal. As you eat a spoonful of the golden lentils you’ll understand how it sooth you like you’re being wrapped in a blanket of warmth.
This recipe comes from my maternal grandparents family. Everything was cooked in copious amounts of ghee and ghee was deemed to be a status symbol.
I tend not to use ghee and butter in my recipes but I make an exception for tarka dal. My favourite way of eating tarka dal is by breaking my chapatti into small pieces and putting them in a bowl full of dal. As the chapatti absorbs the liquid from the lentils, it swells, it becomes really soft and it’s heavenly.
1Place the lentils in a large mixing bowl and wash with warm water. Rinse and repeat this process until the water runs clear. Finally drain the lentils and put them in a large heavy bottomed pan.
2Add the salt, turmeric, water to the lentils and mix. Cook on a medium high heat for 40 minutes. Stir the lentils occasionally and skim the scum off which floats on the top.
3Whilst the lentils are cooking, in a medium sized saucepan melt the butter and the oil on medium heat.
4Add the cumin seed, ginger and cook for 1 minute.
5Add the onions a cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently as you want an even colour on the onions. The onions should look caramelised and a deep brown colour.
6Reduce the heat to low and then add the Kashmiri chilli powder and stir for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 4 minutes.
7Stir in the coriander and then add to the lentils once they've cooked. Add more water if you want your dal to be a thinner consistency.