Yellow Dal With Tomato, Turmeric & Fried Kashmiri Chillies

Yellow Dal With Tomato, Turmeric & Fried Kashmiri Chillies

This dal is so incredibly easy and quick to make, and finishing it off with a tarka is extra special. A last-minute fry of spices and chilli, pour the tarka, still sizzling, on top of the dal in the dish before serving.
Total Time
1 Hour 15 Minutes
200g of yellow tur dal, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, then drained
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 green chillies, slit lengthways
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
A small handful fresh curry leaves
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp of ground turmeric
2 tbsp of sunflower oil
1 tsp of black mustard seeds
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 dried Kashmiri chillies, each broken into 3 pieces
About 15 fresh curry leaves
A handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped, to garnish
Step 1

Put the dal into a large saucepan and add water to cover by about 4cm. Add all the remaining dal ingredients, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer for 45-60 minutes. The dal should be soft but still with a little bite. Use a potato masher to break up about half of the lentils, being sure to leave plenty of texture.

Step 2

For the tarka, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds until they pop. Stir in the shallots, Kashmiri chillies and curry leaves and fry for 2-3 minutes until the shallots are softened and golden.

Step 3

Spoon the tarka on top of the dal, sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Rick Stein at Home by Rick Stein (BBC Books, £26). Photography by James Murphy. Visit

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