Tarka Dhal with Spinach and Fresh Tomato

By Amandip Uppal

Tarka Dhal with Spinach and Fresh Tomato

Tarka Dhal with Spinach and Fresh Tomato. A classic, mixed lentil dish cooked with whole cumin and ground spices, then garnished with smoky burnt garlic and crispy curry leaves, ginger and chilli. Easy and quick to cook, this is perfect for friends or family for supper.

Serves 4 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes


¼ onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 large handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
1 tomato, finely diced


½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala


100g yellow mung beans
50g masoor dhal
50g toor dhal
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons oil
ghee, for drizzling


Curry Leaves, Garlic, Ginger and Red Chilli (see page 240)

Wash the mung beans and both dhals together thoroughly. Put them into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Using a large spoon, remove any white scum or residue.

Add the turmeric and salt and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and pressing the beans and dhal against the pan with the back of your spoon. Cook until they are soft and creamy (add a little boiling water if too thick). Turn off the heat.

In a separate frying pan, heat the oil over a low–medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 2–3 seconds. Turn up the heat slightly, add the onion and fry for 3–4 minutes until golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 20 seconds.

Add the garam masala and fry for 1 minute, then pour in a ladleful of mung beans and dhal, swirl around the pan and pour it all back into the large pan of cooked dhal. Simmer the dhal over a low heat for 8–10 minutes.

Turn off the heat, add the chopped spinach and tomato, drizzle with ghee and garnish with the Curry Leaves, Garlic, Ginger and Red Chilli.

This is an edited extract from Indian Made Easy by Amandip Uppal, published by Murdoch Books and available in stores now. 




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