How to cook Tarka Dal

garam mah dal masala Mung dal red lentil Spicy Tarka dal ginger coriander vegetarian dish delicious


This is a classical vegetarian recipe cooked in Northern Pakistan style. Every ingredient is suitable for vegetarians and the title Tarka means to fry the dal and spices in hot oil particularly if using ginger and garlic. My recipe is little different then say Madhur jaffrey on internet with main takeaway (excuse the pun) from my technique is length of time cooking it for outgassing and adding more koriander and ginger. But please try it and let me know how it turns out for you.

There are different kinds of dal and they vary in size shape color and cooking times. The size of beans must not be mistaken. They may be small in size, but they are powerhouses of iron, fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins. However, here's where the catch lies. Beans are rich in lectins, these are proteins that bind carbohydrates and can be harmful to health. Studies have suggested that raw beans, especially red kidney beans contain lectins that are harmful and must be destroyed during the process of cooking. Different lectins have a different impact on the body and that's why beans and grains must not be eaten uncooked. Typical cooking times for my daal recipe is two hours and usually you know when that is achieved, when the daal seeds start to split and whole mixture starts to puree. 

Personally adding fresh coriander is a must and added in three stages, 1/3 quantity added during spice frying, 1/3 quantity during slow simmer and finally last 1/3 sprinkled fresh on top when serving on plate.


My dal Recipe uses Mung daal, it is small green kidney shaped seed and adding little bit of Mah daal to compliment the two dhal with each other giving it slightly different texture of the mixture when cooked.

The ingredients required to cook the dish are as follows:

1 cup Mung dal

1/2 Cup Mah dal

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

4 large cloves Garlic chopped

1 tablespoon fresh cut ginger

10 cut branch of Coriander leaves

1/2 Cup Vegetable oil.

2 liter water

It is very simple dish, is very spicy and incredibly filling. Served with garlic bread, nan bread, rice or traditionally with tandoori roti. It can be served with side dishes of onion chutney, yogurt or my favorite is tomato and green chili garlic sauce which I will show how to make in my next video. If you like the video please give me thumbs up and leave any questions comments.


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