Mamta's Kitchen

Arhar Dal-Split Pigeon Peas (Tarka Dal 2)

Arhar Dal Tarka 2

Steve Lister

I made this dal recently and it came out very much like the soup that is sold by Indian 'takeaways' under the heading of "Tarka Dal". I only came across this dal in a song would you believe! The song was a comedy song by a band called "Mark and Lard" who I believe were or still are DJ's on Radio 1. Somewhere in the song there was a line that talked about eating curries and said "chicken tikka, tarka dal, popodom, masala" etc., which made me wonder what "tarka dal" was. So next time we went for an Indian takeaway I ordered Tarka dal, even though it wasn't on their menu. Since then I've had it in different places and it is all pretty much similar. Serves-easily 4-6 people

Also see Tarka Dal 2.


  • 6 cups Yellow lentils (tuvar/arhar dal or chana dal)

  • 4 tsp. olive oil

  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika powder (Shimla mirch powder/capsicum powder)

  • 1 tsp. cumin powder

  • 1 tsp. coriander powder

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. - chilli powder to taste, but not too much, as this is a refreshing soup and shouldn't be too hot.

  • 2 vegetable stock cubes

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2 medium (white) onions

  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves, stalks included

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash the lentil and gently simmer for about 1/2 an hour

  2. Take the lentils out, drain and put aside

  3. Clean the pan, heat it and add oil. Fry the chopped onions and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

  4. Add the spices and crumbled stock cubes. Cook on for a few minutes. Take off the heat.

  5. Add the lentils back to the pan and purée the lot using a hand blender/stick.

  6. Top up with water and simmer for about an hour to let it cook through and thicken.

  7. Serve hot with Chapatties and Boiled Rice.

  8. Also see Dal Selection.


  • Tastes pretty good!

If you have any comments or questions about this recipe, please post them to our Discussion Board. To link to this recipe on the forum, you may use the shortcode [recipe:13232]

Content copyright ©2001-2021 Mamta Gupta and F² Limited. (All rights reserved. No copying without permission.)
Layout and design ©2001-2021 F² Limited. (All rights reserved. No copying without permission.)
Hosted by Digital Ocean
All comments and queries to [email protected]