Recipe: Very Cheap & Easy Tarka Dhal

Tarka Dhal

Tarka Dhal

I absolutely love this recipe for several reasons. Firstly, not only is it really, really delicious, but it’s so ridiculously cheap that I feel justified eating out for dinner if I’ve had this for lunch (I was obviously never meant to live life as a student). Also, forget vegetarian – this dish is vegan! So super-healthy and a step towards eating a more sustainable diet. I eat so much meat after all… Finally, the dhal takes only 40 minutes to cook, most of which time you just have to keep an eye on a boiling pot. One-pot meal = one-pot to wash up.

All in all, this recipe is a gem.

I’ll give the recipe from the original book and my alterations in brackets.

Tarka Dhal

Taken from: Kris Dhillon – The New Curry Secret

Serves 4 (as a side) or 2 (as a main)
Cooking time: 35 – 40 mins

Ingredients

4 heaped tbsp split red lentils
425ml water (I find 375 is adequate. Add with caution – you can always add more)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tomato, chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped (I used ‘lazy chillies’ in a jar – I add 1 tsp but this is very mild. Experiment to find your level)
1 level tsp salt (I don’t add this at all. Season to your taste)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (I use 2 tsp coriander paste – I think this also adds adequate salt)

Any vegetable you feel like adding. My mother recommends cauliflower. I add petit pois.

Method

  1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly and place in pan with all ingredients, except the salt, garam masala, coriander and any extra vegetables. Be cautious with the water. Any extra veg thrown in later will add moisture.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover the pan and simmer for a further 20 minutes, stirring two or three times.  10 – 15 minutes before the end, throw in any extra veg.
  3. Stir in garam masala and half the coriander. Season to taste.

Enjoy, whilst feeling smugly healthy and thrifty.

It's dinner time!

It’s dinner time!

One thought on “Recipe: Very Cheap & Easy Tarka Dhal

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Easy Punjabi Chicken Curry and Mixed Vegetable Dhal | Pheebz Eatz

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