Legendary Dishes | Tarka Dal (spicy lentil soup)

Exported Toor Dal from India sold in Britain

This spicy lentil soup from the Indian Sub-Continent has become popular throughout Europe with the successful introduction in authentic cafes and restaurants of traditional dishes from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

1 liter water (add 500 ml more for a thinner soup)
300 g chana dal / toor dal
30 ml vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves 
3 cm ginger, thin sliced
4 cm cassia stick / cinnamon stick
6 red chillies, small
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric, ground
Asafoetida, 2 large pinches
Red chilli pepper, large pinch
Salt, large pinch

Soak the dal in the water for 30 minutes, drain, add fresh water, bring to the boil, remove foam from the top. Add cassia or cinnamon stick, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cover and simmer until the dal has dissolved, around 35 minutes. Add peppercorns and a pinch each of asafoetida, chilli and salt. Cook for 10 minutes. Put two tablespoons of oil into a small deep frying pan or wok, bring heat up, add mustards seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, small chillies and a pinch of asafoetida. Pour this flavoured oil into the dal pot, heat for a couple of minutes, serve.