Tarka Dhal

Serves 4.


  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chiles, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Wash lentils under running water until water runs clear then put into a medium sauce pan, add water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and skim off foam.  Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for a further 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in salt.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, and when hot, and mustard seeds, follow by cumin seeds.  Add shallots and chiles and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.  Add turmeric and ground cumin.  Add tomato and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Fold the shallot mixture into cooked lentils, then stir in cilantro.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.