Easy Tarka Dahl…my first attempt at Middle Eastern cuisine!

Well it has been a rather eventful week here in Edinburgh, we have had the Jazz and Blues festival and as HUGE blues fans, my partner and I have tried to squeeze in as much of is as we can, so this post is probably a bit overdue…but nevertheless I found an evening to have an attempt at a vegetarian (and vegan friendly) Middle Eastern dish, Broccoli Tarka Dahl, which is a lentil based curry! The theory behind this dish isn’t too far from a soup recipe, most of the preparation is at the very start then it is just a case of waiting for it to simmer until it is at the desired consistency.



200g of lentils (I used yellow, however red lentils will make the dish much more quickly!)

One head of Broccoli

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large white onion

6-8 cloves of garlic

0.5-1 tsp chilli powder

2 tbsp cumin seeds

0.5 tsp turmeric

1.5-2 litres of water


– First soak the lentils for at least 20-30 minutes, then rinse them under cold water.


– Prepare all the vegetables, cutting the onions randomly and the broccoli into small florets.


– Pop the lentils and broccoli in to a large pan. I, at this point, add my oil, I find it stops things from sticking to the pan, I have no idea if my theory works, however whenever I do not use a little oil, my food sticks to the bottom of the pan!


-When this comes to a boil, add your turmeric, garlic, cumin and chilli powder. The mix of these three ingredients is the secret to making the dish so good! You will immediately fill your kitchen with the amazing smell it has. It is completely up to you if you want to up the dose of chilli or not, I added more later on to taste as I like a kick to my food, but this dish is also great mild, as the lentils and spices are really aromatic and flavoursome!


-Now it’s just a waiting game, this can take 40-60 minutes depending on which lentils you use, they tend to differ in cooking times.

-When it is looking promising, you are ready to eat! Some folk add salt or pepper to taste, I’m trying to cut out my salt intake right now as I am guilty of going overboard, so I avoided it this time!


-I enjoyed this dish with some quinoa and coconut flakes on top. Others may prefer a good old naan bread…it’s always a winner! Hope you enjoy!


AO x


About Amy O

Daydreamer. OT Student. 26 years. Passion for Art, Nature, Botany, Tattoos, Rock and Blues, Yoga & the Cosmos!
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One Response to Easy Tarka Dahl…my first attempt at Middle Eastern cuisine!

  1. Callum says:

    A really good filling dish! That tastes better than most dishes


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