Tarka Dahl

 In Dinner, Recipes

One of my favourite dishes! I have been making this for many years and it never fails! Tarka Dahl has become a staple in our house for it’s taste, simplicity to make and a great dish to pile all your fav veges or just the lentils with a sprinkle of cilantro/coriander or parsley.


Tarka Dahl

Such a indian favourite of mine. FULL of flavor, feeds many at one sitting, or a couple over a few nights. Very easy to prep and cook.
Prep Time 1 d 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian


  • Wok
  • Saucepan and steamer


  • 1 tsp Organic Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Organic Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Organic Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Organic Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Organic Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Organic Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 tsp Organic Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Organic Chili Powder Depending on how hot you like it, add more to taste
  • 1-2 Organic Chilis
  • 3-4 slivers Organic Ginger
  • 1 tsp Himilayan Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Organic Moong or Toor Dahl
  • few Sprigs Organic fresh coriander

Optional vegetables to add

  • 2-3 Organic Potatoes, or Kumara or Pumpkin
  • 1 Medium Organic carrot
  • Some green leaf, such as Organic Kale, silverbeet or anything you have in the garden/fridge you like.

Rice Variations to add.

  • 1 Cup Organic Basmati White Rice cook for 15-20 mins This will feed 3 adults, so adjust accordingly.
  • 1 Cup Organic Quinoa is another great option if you don't eat rice. Cook for 12-15 mins. Drain well, serve immediately. This will feed 3 adults, as well.


  • Measure out the Lentils you are using, you could also use yellow splits peas, but the texture of the Moong dahl is preferable in my book. Rinse and soak minimum 4-5 hours.
  • Heat up wok with olive oil to a medium heat.
  • Drain soaked lentils, rinse again and now prep your ingredients. I pop the seeds in one small dish and the powders in another.
  • Slice up finely, ginger and chilis,
  • In the wok, add ginger, chilis and Cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds. Lighty sizzle for a few minutes until the coriander starts popping, this releases the flavor of the seeds.
  • Carefully add some hot water, and add the powdered spices and stir gently to dissolve everything.
  • Add lentils and simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Taste test to see if the dahl is cooked. Keep checking and stiring occasionaly and don't let it dry out, you may need to keep adding some more water.
  • If adding vegetables as I do, chop up some root vegetables to your liking or you could grate them if you don't like the chunky texture. If you add in these chopped up in cubes then add in 10 mins approx before the 20 mins is up.
    If adding grated then add at the end of the 20 minutes and finish off cooking for another 5-10 minutes.

Cooking of Rice

  • Thoroughly rinse organic rice or organic quinoa.
  • Saucepan of water add rice or quinoa, bring to simmer, white rice will take 15 minutes as will the quinoa.
    If using organic brown rice, this will take approx 20mins. Drain and keep hot in steamer or sieve.


As for there are many variations of lentils. I have found the Moong dahl to be the better texture, but really whatever you have access to is fine, even yellow split peas, organic if you can.
Keyword curry, Dinner, lentils, spices, Tarka Dahl
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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