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Easy Vegan Tomato Dhal With Onion Tarka

Quick, easy, healthy and cheap dhal curry. Tooped with spiced caramelised onions, makes the ultimate comfort food.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 201 kcal


  • For the Dhal
  • 2 1/2 cups/700ml of hot water
  • 14 oz/400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup/200g of red lentils
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 bay leave
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp of ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp of ground coriander
  • salt to taste I used 1/2 tsp
  • For the onion Tarka:
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 black cardamon pods or 3 green ones bashed to split open
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • a good pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 large or to small red onions halved and sliced


  • First, make the dhal.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bay leaves, garlic, turmeric, and dried coriander and sit well.
  • Let the mixture fry gently for a few minutes to activate the spices. Add the can of tomatoes, stir and try to break the big bits of tomatoes. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse the lentils well. Then add them to your saucepan with the salt. Add the vegetable stock or water. Simmer on fairly low heat, stirring frequently so that the bottom doesn't 'catch'. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes uncovered until at least the lentils are cooked.
  • Once the dhal is cooked, let it stand for 10 minutes. It will thicken more once it's cooked.
  • To make the tarka, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the spices, and fry for one minute. Then add the onions and fry for about 10 minutes until absolutely soft and caramelized.
  • Ladle the dhal into bowls and top with the onion tarka. Enjoy! :)


Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Can be frozen for up to a month too.


Serving: 1srvingCalories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 44.9gProtein: 13.2gFat: 4.4g
Keyword curry, dairyfree, dhal, dinner, glutenfree, vegan
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