5 Litres extra virgin olive oil £68 a tin click here!

Vivek Singh's Tarka Dahl

Vivek Singh own a range of restaurants around London, the Cinnamon Club is an institution in the world of Indian fine dining. While Cinnamon Kitchen has three locations (two in London and one in Oxford), which fuse the spice of the subcontinent with the finest British ingredients and culinary traditions. His recipes are amazing, and here I have added a few more veg to make this dahl into a full meal.



  • 100g / ½ cup masoor dahl (red lentils), washed
  • 100g / ½ moong dahl (split yellow mung beans - you can use yellow lentils), washed
  • 1.2 litres water
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric 
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 whole dried red chillies
  • Pinch of asafoetida (heeng)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 medium white onions
  • 2 yellow peppers chopped into small chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, medium sized, finely chopped
  • 2 inch ginger, scraped and chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon


Wash the lentils in running cold water, and then drain well. Put them in a pan with the water, turmeric and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until they are so thoroughly disintegrated that you cannot tell the different lentils apart. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan; add the whole red chillies, asafoetida, and cumin seeds and allow then to crackle, add the garlic wait and for it to turn golden brown, add the onions and sauté over moderate heat.

Add the yellow peppers and stir well.

Add the red chilli powder, sauté for a minute or two. Add the tomato and cook for 5-6 minutes over moderate heat and throw in ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves and pour the mix into the lentils. Add salt and pepper as you like and finish with lemon juice.

Vivek's Tip: In some parts of the country, as many as 5 different types of lentils are used. You could use as many different types as you like, just make sure that most of them have their husk removed as otherwise it changes the colour of the final dish.

Leave a comment