A year on from my travels in India, I decided to pay homage to my time there and re-create a dish we ate most days. Dal is a split pulse soup, cooked with various aromatic, rich spices and often served with rice, roti, chapatis, or as an accompaniment to curries in a thali.
This is a staple dish in India and it comes in many varieties. This particular variety calls for turmeric, garam masala, fresh ginger, chillies, cumin seeds and ground coriander; the result is a deep, warming and satisfying soup that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Indian Tarka Dal
- 250g yellow split peas or moong dal
- 900ml water
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 tbsp dried red chillies
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 3 tsp ground coriander
- 500ml vegetable stock
- Place the yellow split peas in a pan with 900ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer, allow this to cook for 30 minutes or until they become tender.
- In the meantime, fry the cumin seeds in a pan with the vegetable oil for around 30 seconds, until the seeds become fragrant.
- Add the onion, dried red chillies and fresh ginger, stirring and cooking for 5 minutes so the onion starts to gain some colour.
- In a high speed blender or food processor, blitz the tomatoes and garlic cloves to create a paste. Add this to the onions and stir to combine.
- Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, ground coriander and vegetable stock. Let this simmer for 20 minutes or until the split peas have finished cooking, adding more water if needed.
- Drain the split peas and add them to the soup mix, stir to combine. Season to your tastes and serve up!