Food & Drink

Tarka Dhal

Simple and healthy, yet delicious. Ideally served with plain rice or a naan bread for dipping, or both.

Serves 4, cooking time 50 minutes


• 100g yellow split peas

• 100g red lentils

• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

• 1 litre water

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 3 tablespoons olive oil (or another flavourless oil such as groundnut)

• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

• 1 -2 dried red chillies (depending on your tolerance to heat)

• 1 garlic clove, smashed then peeled


Wash the split peas and lentils in cold water and drain. Add to a heavy-based saucepan with the turmeric and water. Stir and bring to the boil, then partially cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Leave to simmer for around 40 minutes, then stir in the salt and turn off the heat, cover and leave to one side.

Put the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, when the oil is hot, add the cumin and chillies, cook for a few seconds (they will burn quickly) and then add the garlic. Let the garlic colour slightly, then add the contents of the frying pan to the lentils, pop the lid back on (to trap the aromas) and take to the table.


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