Tarka Dhal is a very famous dish made with red lentils or masoor dhal.It is served in all Indian restaurants and is very easy to make at home.Among the many versions available,here is mine:
Masoor dhal/ red lentils- 1 Cup
Channa dhal/split pigeon peas- 1/4 cup (optnl)
Fresh Ginger- 1 inch piece crushed
Garlic cloves- 3 nos. crushed
Green chillies- 2 slit lengthwise
Turmeric- 1/2 Tsp
Salt to taste
For the Tadka or Tempering:
Butter/ ghee- 2 Tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1Tbsp
Dry red chilly- 1
Onions -1 small chopped finely
Garlic- 2 cloves
Garam Masala- 1/4 Tsp
Chopped cilantro- 1/4 Cup
Lemon juice- 4 to 5 drops
Slit green chillies -2 nos. (seeded )
Red chilly powder- a pinch
1.Wash and pressure cook both the dhals for 2 to 3 whistles along with the ginger, garlic, green chillies, salt and turmeric. I used about 2 cups of water and found the consistency of the dhal to be right.
2.Heat butter or ghee in a pan and once hot add the ingredients under tempering and saute till the onions and garlic turn soft and light brown in colour.
3.Mash the dhal using a hand mixer or a ladle and pour the tadka on top of it and garnish with chopped cilantro, green chillies and a few drops of lemon and a pinch of red chilly powder.
4.Cover and let sit for 2 minutes and serve hot with rice, rotis or naan.
Note: The consistency of the dhal should be neither be too thick nor too watery and should be like that of a soup. Mashing the dhal helps in getting the right consistency.