The easiest Tarka Dhal in the World....ever.

This is another simple, quick and more importantly, cheap recipe for the Frugal Food Series over with Jenn at Frugal Upstate.

I've been making this for a while and usually use it as a side along with Aloo Gobi and some marinaded grilled chicken. I normally make it in summer and freeze in zip lock bags to nuke when we're barbecuing the chicken, but we haven't had much "summer" here yet.

Tarka Dhal

About 6oz/200g of your favourite lentils (I've also used spilt yellow peas in a pinch, bit chunkier but still lovely)
400ml water
Chillies (now this is a personal one, it shouldn't bee too hot, but everyone has their own idea of too hot. I use about three fresh green chillies, four or five if I'm using pickled)
1 tsp turmeric
1 large onion
1 crushed clove or garlic, or to taste.
4oz/400g tinned tomatoes chopped (or whole and chopped in the tin)
Vegetable oil, enough to coat the bottom of a pan or skillet with about 1-2mm oil.
1/2 mustard seeds
1/2 cumin seeds
5 curry leaves
1/2 tsp crushed dried chilli

Add first six ingredients to a heavy bottomed pot and cook until lentils are tender (about 15-20 minutes for lentils and a bit longer for split peas)

Once lentils are tender mash until almost smooth, leave a few chunky bits for texture.

Add tin of tomatoes to lentils stir and cover while you deal with spices.

Cover the bottom of a pan or skillet with oil and add all remaining ingredients, fry until garlic turns brown and add entire contents of pan, oil and all to the lentils.

Salt to taste if necessary.

Stir and serve.

Seriously how easy is that. I make double and freeze it, if you do this bear in mind that the onion, garlic and chillies all intensify after being frozen for some reason, so you may want to leave these ingredients as originally listed above, if your plan is to freeze it. It can then be defrosted and heating in the microwave for about two minutes, or from frozen for an extra minute or two. If doing it from frozen, I give it to minutes in the microwave and then smush it around in the bag a bit and give it another two minutes.


For more great bean, pulse and lentil recipes head over to the Frugal Food Series.


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