Tarka daal is a wholesome lentil soup or stew that makes the perfect weeknight meal. It's quick and easy to prepare, making it a great place to start if you are new to South Asian cooking.
Now some of you may be thinking, why share something so simple and basic? But believe it or not, this is the recipe I’ve been asked for and share the most! I really want this page to be comprehensive and not at all intimidating to those who are new to South Asian cooking, whether you’d like to explore more South Asian cooking at home and spice up your life, or you’ve grown up on the cuisine, have moved away from home and want to make start making desi food. I want this to be an inclusive community and safe space where you’re allowed to make mistakes in the kitchen and ask as many questions as you want!
So whatever your background, Tarka Daal is an amazing place to start. Its so simple yet so darn good, and perfect for veggie and plant-based diets. The best way to describe tarka daal is a spiced lentil soup (daal) with some fried ingredients to give the daal more flavor (tarka). I normally use red or green masoor daal and fry tomatoes, onion and garlic for the tarka. You can experiment with different types of lentils and ingredients for the tarka, such as as ginger, cumin seeds or fresh chilli. It really is up to you!