The Curry Man’s Tarka Dal

The Curry Man
Dal in a white bowl alongside pilau rice in separate white dish and salad in small white bowl
Serves Serves 2
Print recipe
  • Prep time 5 mins
  • Cook time 40 mins
  • Ready time 45 mins

One of the most simple but delicious recipes you will ever come across – try to believe!

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For part 1

  • 100 g red lentils
  • 100 g yellow split peas
  • 600 ml water
  • ½–1 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes, to taste
  • ½–1 teaspoon turmeric, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add at end of cooking)

For part 2

  • 2–4 cloves garlic, to taste
  • 1–2 thin green chillies, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • fresh coriander


For part 1

Rinse the lentils and yellow split peas under cold water then put them in a saucepan.  Add the water, crushed chillies and turmeric and boil until tender (approx. 40 minutes).  Add a little more water if needed during cooking (i.e. if the lentil mix gets too dry).  Add the salt once the lentils and split peas are soft.

For part 2

Chop or crush the garlic and chop the green chillies, removing most of the seeds.

In a separate pan (small frying pan is ideal), fry the garlic and chillies in vegetable oil on a low heat until the garlic starts to brown.  Add the cumin seeds and fry for another minute or two.

Pour the garlic/chilli/cumin seed oil mix into the lentils and combine well.

Add plenty of chopped fresh coriander on top before serving.

Serve with The Curry Man’s Fluffy Basmati Rice.


Additional notes

This recipe is courtesy of The Curry Man, who sells an array of delicious home made Asian curries, onion bhajees, pakoras and parathas at markets in Swadlincote, Nottingham and other towns in the Midlands.