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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Blend together the tomato and garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the puree to the pan and stir well.
- Stir in the turmeric and garam masala, followed by 2 tbsps of water to thin it slightly. Season then simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- 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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