t Paveen The Spice Queen's Healthy Tarka Daal - Ethical Hedonist Paveen The Spice Queen's Healthy Tarka Daal - Ethical Hedonist

Paveen The Spice Queen’s Healthy Tarka Daal

June 2, 2017 in EH Spy

This mildly garlic flavoured, healthy Tarka Daal recipe is made with red split lentils, and it is one of my most enduringly popular dishes.  Everyone loves it.  I have cooked it for just about every single dinner party I have ever catered. It’s a firm favourite with my vegetarian and vegan clients, friends and family. It is also loved just as much by meat eaters. Daal is a perfect accompaniment for both Pilau rice and naan bread. Or you could serve it with good sourdough bread too. I love it so much and I sometimes just have it as a hearty, nourishing soup. You can also adapt this recipe to suit your own pallet. Try adding chick peas, or really fresh organic spinach or tender kale.

Good Luck with the recipe Parveen The Spice Queen, xx

Editor’s Comment – I make a green lentil daal once week. This is a great dish for anyone wanting to live well, follow an anti-inflammatory diet, and dine like an organic prince or princes n a budget!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Serves approx 4 – 6 people


250g organic red red split lentils

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves

2 medium sized onions – thinly sliced

4 tbsp of organic coconut oil, organic ghee or olive oil

4 cloves of garlic – crushed

2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander





  1. Wash the lentils using cool water, 2 or 3 times, this washes out the starch and then drain.


  1. Put the lentils in a large pan. Add 850 ml of hot water, salt, turmeric & chilli. Bring to the boil, cover & simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.


  1. The lentils should look like a thick soup now. If it’s too thick, add a little hot water, and if it is too runny, turn the heat up cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat & set aside.


  1. In a separate frying pan, on high heat, fry the onions until golden brown.


  1. Add the crushed garlic & keep stirring on low heat for 5 minutes, until onions and garlic have fused together. This is called the ‘Tarka’


  1. Gently, add the ‘tarka’ sauce to the cooked lentils, bring to the boil. Add the coriander, stir through. Cover with lid & simmer for 10 minutes.


If you want to add any chick peas, spinach or kale, add it at step 6 and follow the recipe through to the end. If you are feeling in a decadent mood, add a couple of tablespoons of butter or organic ghee.  You can also use any variety of pulses and lentils with the recipe, from chick pea daal, green lentils and moon daal.

My recipes are made with garlic and onions but if you are not a fan of garlic, try infusing it with ginger, many of my friends do and if you love garlic, try it with just a garlic infusion. Tarka daal can also be infused with just with onions. Sometimes,  my mum would make her Tarka Daal with an onion infusion. It was absolutely delicious but then again, everything mum cooked, tasted good.

For more info on Parveen and her recipes visit the website – Parveen the Spice Queen




about the author

Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid - Journalist, Editor & Emerald Princess of Slow, Sustainable Luxury Living - 18 year track record interviewing real icons for: The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life. Now leading her alluring fairtrade, emerald revolution - Don’t Miss Out - Have you joined The Ethical Hedonist set?

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