Masoor Tarka Dhal

Masoor is the Hindi word for red lentils and Tarka is a method of seasoning and adding flavour to foods using spices heated in oil or ghee. The beautiful smooth, nutty lentils are given a spicy kick with our fiery Madras Curry Paste, with its chilli, mustard, tamarind, garlic and roasted spices.

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  • Prep 10 mins
    Cook 29 mins
  • Serves 4
  • V Vegetarian
  • Hot

Tarka Dhal is a comforting, warming dish that can be served as a side dish to a curry meal or enjoyed on its own. Dhals come in many different forms and in this version, the ‘tarka’ is prepared separately and then added to the lentils. On cold winter days, this is a dish you’ll reach for time and again.


400g dried red lentils

2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil

2 onions, diced

1 garlic bulb, finely chopped

1 thumb fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 sachet Geeta’s Madras Curry Paste

2 red chillies, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp tomato purée


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onions until soft and golden.
  2. Add the chilli, garlic and ginger and fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the madras paste and fry until the oil is separated.
  4. Add the tomato purée, lentils and bay leaves to the pan and top with 500mls of water.
  5. Cook over a simmering heat until lentils are soft and sauce is reduced.

How We Serve Ours

This dish can be served on its own with chapattis or roti flatbreads or used as a side dish as part of your curry night-in! We’ve pan-seared a chilli pepper and some red onion to create an attractive garnish and topped with some fresh mint leaves or you can use fresh coriander if you prefer.