Tarka Dal

I like to go heavy with the cilantro

I like to go heavy with the cilantro

Tarka Dal is an indian-spiced pea soup. It’s cheap, easy and very nourishing so basically Indian comfort food at its finest.

I’m an impatient cook so the only hang-up for me was the time it takes to get a pan of peas nice and tender. If you are also driven to a frenzy by long cooking times (belly waits for no man!) then do what I did and cook them the night before.

the smooshed split peas

the smooshed split peas

That way, you just make the sauce, dump the cooked peas in there and hey presto…supper in minutes.

Lazy cooks everywhere: you’re welcome.

Tarka Dal (serves 2)

*adapted from Indian Food Made Easy

  • 3/4 cup dried yellow split peas
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large, white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cm piece of root ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper to season
  1. Rinse the split peas very well then tip into a saucepan and add just boiled water. Bring to a boil, stir once then reduce the heat to let the peas simmer for 40 minutes until tender. Add more water if necessary and stir regularly.
  2. When the peas are done, whisk through to break them up slightly (they should start to break down into a mushy pea texture). Set aside.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a wide bottomed saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and fry until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the onion and ginger and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Blend together the tomato and garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the puree to the pan and stir well.
  5. Stir in the turmeric and garam masala, followed by 2 tbsps of water to thin it slightly. Season then simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  6. Pour in the cooked peas and stir (adding more water to loosen if needed). Just before serving, stir in the cilantro leaves.

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3 thoughts on “Tarka Dal

  1. Pingback: Tandoori Roasted Chickpeas | Things My Belly Likes

  2. Pingback: Slow Cooker Split Pea & Parsnip Soup | Things My Belly Likes

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