Indian Tarka Dal


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

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. In the meantime, fry the cumin seeds in a pan with the vegetable oil for around 30 seconds, until the seeds become fragrant.
  3. Add the onion, dried red chillies and fresh ginger, stirring and cooking for 5 minutes so the onion starts to gain some colour.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Drain the split peas and add them to the soup mix, stir to combine. Season to your tastes and serve up!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kealey says:

    Cannot wait to make this myself! So delicious! 😍


  2. mistimaan says:

    Loved your recipe


    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

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