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Vegan Tarka Daal

Anything that I can thriftily throw together from the contents of my larder cupboard is a massive win for me! If I've not made it to the supermarket, lentils are often a midweek hero and they really are such a versatile absorb-er of flavour that you can spice them up with whatever you have lurking in the back of your cupboard!

This Tarka Daal is a staple dish for us. If I have the time I love to nurse it over the hob, but on rushed days I throw the ingredients into my slow cooker before the school run and work begins.

The calories and macros below are for serving as is - a big cosy bowl of comfort. But if you want you can serve over rice, with a flatbread, or up protein with a jolly good serving of leafy greens.


Serves 3



  • 250g red split lentils (dry weight)

  • 1.2 litres water

  • A pinch of black pepper

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 2 small onions, roughly chopped

  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 1 tbsp ginger root, grated

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree

  • Fresh coriander and dried chilli flakes to serve (optional)



  • First soak the split red lentils for a few hours or overnight. This will reduce the cooking time.

  • Rinse the pulses in a sieve under a cold tap and pop into a pan with 1.2 litres of water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the top of the pan.

  • Reduce the heat, throw in a pinch of pepper and the turmeric, then leave to simmer.

  • Meanwhile, fry the onion, ginger and garlic in a non-stick pan (add a drop of water if it begins to stick), along with the cumin and mustard. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add them into the pot of lentils.

  • Leave the pot to simmer low and slow for around 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils have broken down to create a thick, silky, soupy texture.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in the tomato puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh coriander and a pinch of chilli flakes if desired.




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