Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Mixed Lentil Dal with a Sizzling Sweet Pepper and Onion Tarka.

The fact is, that when I go into the kitchen to cook, I’m only ever a step away from making a curry. I always seem to have the right sort of ingredients, and the lines of jars of indian spices draw me like a magnet……because I just love a curry. There’s a magic in those spices that is endlessly enticing.

So. In a word (or three), here’s another curry 🙂

A mixed lentil dal with a sweet pepper and onion sizzling tarka.  Irresistible…….



for 4


  • 4 tbs. hot oil suitable for frying / or vegetable ghee
  • 300gms. mixed lentils ( I used an equal split of green puy lentils, black lentils and red spit lentils)
  • approx. 150gms. sweet red pepper
  • 1 large yellow/or white onion
  • approx. 150gms. tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 cm. fresh ginger
  • 0.5 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsps. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsps. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1200ml. water
  • Juice 1 lime


  • Wash lentils.
  • Wash and dice sweet pepper ( remove pith and seeds).
  • Peel and finely chop onion.
  • Cut a cross in the top of the tomatoes and immerse in just-boiled water for 10 mins.
  • Remove tomato skins and discard.
  • Dice tomatoes.
  • Peel and crush garlic cloves.
  • Peel and finely grate ginger.
  • Grind salt, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric and chilli powder to make a fine powder.
  • In a deep-sided pan, on a medium-high heat, add 2 tbs. oil or ghee.
  • When hot, add mustard seeds.
  • When mustard seeds sizzle, add rinsed lentils.  SautĂ© for 5 mins, stirring from time to time.
  • Add ground spices and sautĂ© for 1 min.  Avoid burning.
  • Add 1200ml. water.  Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 7 mins.
  • Reduce heat to minimum, (use a heat diffuser if necessary), cover, and cook lentils for 60 – 75 mins., until the dal is thick and the lentils are tender.

During the last 15 mins. prepare the tarka:

  • In a wide pan, on a high heat, add 2 tbs. oil/ or ghee.
  • Add diced onion and diced sweet pepper and sautĂ© for 6-8 mins.
  • Add crushed garlic and grated ginger.  SautĂ© 2-3 mins.  Keep the heat high and stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Add diced tomatoes.  SautĂ© until sizzling.
  • Add juice of 1 lime.  Sizzle.
  • Tip the sizzling tarka into the lentils.  Stir in for a few minutes.

Serve immediately…. with rice or flatbreads, non-dairy yogurt, chutneys and freshly chopped coriander leaves.










2 thoughts on “Mixed Lentil Dal with a Sizzling Sweet Pepper and Onion Tarka.”

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