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Lentils and herbs in bowl with tomatoes

Tarka dhal

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 2

Make a simple and healthy storecupboard supper like this easy dhal when you're cooking on a budget. To keep it vegan, use vegetable oil rather than ghee

  • Easily doubled
  • Gluten-free
  • Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving
low inkcal473
low insaturates1g
high inprotein26g
low insalt0.4g


  • 200g red lentils
  • 2 tbsp ghee, or vegetable oil if you're vegan
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • coriander, to serve
  • 1 small tomato, chopped


  • STEP 1

    Rinse the lentils several times until the water runs clear, then tip into a saucepan with 1 litre water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 mins, skimming the froth from the top. Cover with a lid and cook for a further 40 mins, stirring occasionally, until it’s a thick, soupy consistency.

  • STEP 2

    While the lentils are cooking, heat the ghee or oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the onion and garlic until the onion is softened, so around 8 mins. Add the turmeric and garam masala, then cook for a further minute. Set aside.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the lentils into bowls and spoon half the onion mixture on top. Top with the coriander and tomato to serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2018

Goes well with


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A star rating of 3.4 out of 5.33 ratings

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