The tadka (tarka) in this recipe is stirred into dhal after it is cooked but is also a great foundation for your curry dishes. You will be amazed at how much more flavor and depth this will add!
1 1/2 cups dried toor dhal (yellow lentils)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 black cardamom pods
3 tbsp. ghee, olive oil or coconut oil
2 cinnamon sticks
4 green cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2-3 serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
handful of chopped, fresh cilantro
Add lentils to 4 cups of water in a large saucepan and bring to boil
Stir in turmeric and black cardamom pods and cook over med. heat about 45 minutes. If using chana dhal increase cooking time to 1 hour.
Stir occasionally to keep lentils from sticking, add more water if lentils boil dry
To make tadka, heat ghee or oil in a small skillet
Add cinnamon sticks, green cardamom pods and cloves to hot ghee or oil
When cardamom pods have turned white and heads of cloves have swollen stir in mustard and cumin seeds. When those are sizzling and the mustard seeds pop, stir in scallions, chilies, garlic and ginger. Cook for about 10 minutes over low heat..
Pour tadka over dhal and stir through. Season to taste with sea salt and lemon juice. Stir in cilantro and serve with basmati rice or naan.