Skill level


Equipment you will need for this technique

Sharp knife

Frying pan

Sumayya Usmani shows you how to make a tarka for dal.

Melt 1–2 teaspoons of ghee in a small frying pan over a medium heat; if you're on a vegan diet consider using coconut oil instead. Fry a couple of sliced garlic cloves until they start to brown lightly (or use thinly sliced ginger, celery or spring onions). Add a teaspoon each of cumin and mustard seeds (coriander and nigella seeds make good alternatives) and cook until they splutter. Quickly add 2 dried red chillies and 5–6 curry leaves and cook for 5 seconds. Immediately pour the tarka over the dal and mix well.