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Tarka dal (lentils) By Sukhi Singh


The famous tarka dal we’ve all tried in restaurants but this recipe far surpasses what you think is tarka dal. As you eat a spoonful of the golden lentils you’ll understand how it soothes you like you’re being wrapped in a blanket of warmth.


This recipe comes from my maternal grandparents family. Everything was cooked in copious amounts of ghee and ghee was deemed to be a status symbol.


I tend not to use ghee and butter in my recipes but I make an exception for tarka dal. My favourite way of eating tarka dal is by breaking my chapatti into small pieces and putting them in a bowl full of dal. As the chapatti absorbs the liquid from the lentils, it swells, it becomes really soft and it’s heavenly.


Directions


1 Place the lentils in a large mixing bowl and wash with warm water. Rinse and repeat this process until the water runs clear. Finally drain the lentils and put them in a large heavy bottomed pan.


2 Add the salt, turmeric, water to the lentils and mix. Cook on a medium high heat for 40 minutes. Stir the lentils occasionally and skim the scum off which floats on the top.


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3 Whilst the lentils are cooking, in a medium sized saucepan melt the butter and the oil on medium heat. 4 Add the cumin seed, ginger and cook for 1 minute. 5 Add the onions a cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently as you want an even colour on the onions. The onions should look caramelised and a deep brown colour. 6 Reduce the heat to low and then add the Kashmiri chilli powder and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 4 minutes. 7 Stir in the coriander and then add to the lentils once they've cooked. Add more water if you want your dal to be a thinner consistency.


Ingredients


100 g red split lentils 100 g mung lentils 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 1/2 tsp salt 2 litres water


80 g unsalted butter 1 tsp cooking oil


1 tsp cumin seeds


2 red onions finely chopped 2 tbsp ginger finely chopped 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder 2 tomatoes finely chopped 2 tbsp chopped coriander


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