Monday, August 23, 2010

Tarka Dal

I spent the day Saturday at our CSA farm. It was a beautiful day. It was the largest work day ever on the farm. We harvested four varieties of potatoes – baking, red, russet, and one I don’t remember. After working we ended with a potluck. I took this Tarka Dal. Tarka, according to Wikipedia is a common word in Indian cuisine used to describe the word seasoning. I wanted to use produce from the farm for the potluck, so I used poblanos, tomatoes, and cilantro from the farm to provide seasoning. So excited, it was practically gone before I got to it in the potluck line!

Saturday Potluck Contribution – Tarka Dal
Farm Share Produce – Beefsteak Tomato, Poblano, Cilantro

Tarka Dal
Adapted from

9 oz. dried yellow split peas, rinsed
3 T olive oil
1 T cumin
1 small onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
¾ t turmeric
¾ t garam masala
1 ½ t ground coriander
Salt and pepper
Handful chopped fresh cilantro (I used frozen cubes I had prepared earlier)

Put split peas in Dutch Oven and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook covered for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Add more water if necessary. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Add cumin and fry 20-30 seconds. Add onion, poblano, and ginger, fry for 4-5 minutes.

Blend garlic and tomatoes together with immersion blender or food processor. Add purée to the pan and stir to combine. Add turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and some water to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add tomato mixture to the lentils and warm through for serving. Add cilantro before serving. If serving right away, fresh cilantro will be perfect. Since I was serving this much later the frozen cubes worked just fine.


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