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This warming Indian favourite is packed with protein and easy to prepare, making it an ideal vegan mid-week treat. It’s made using masur dal (red lentils) and features a generous serving of healthy spices such as turmeric and ginger. Enjoy this tarka dal with roti, naan bread or rice.

Serves 4


150g red lentils (masur dal) ½ tsp turmeric 1 tsp garlic paste 1 tsp ginger paste Salt, to taste A handful of chopped fresh cilantro 3 tbsp oil 1 rounded tbsp butter (optional) 1 fresh red chilli (optional) 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 tomato, finely chopped ½ tsp garam masala, or to taste


1. Wash in several changes of water. Place the lentils and 1 litre of water in a large pan. Bring to a boil, skimming off any residue that forms.

2. Add the turmeric, chilli, garlic, ginger and a little salt. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. After the lentils have been cooking for about 15 minutes, heat the oil and butter for the Tarka. Add the cumin seeds and, once they have browned, add the onion; sauté until well-browned.

4. Add the tomatoes, garam masala and a little more salt, fresh red chilli and sauté until the masala releases oil, should take around 5 minutes, then combine the Tarka to the lentils.

5. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, Add a little water if the lentils are too thick (it will thicken further as it cools). Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Serve with roti, nan or rice.


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