Paul has recently discovered that our local Indian restaurant (Akash) serves Dhal and everytime we go he orders a large Tarka Dahl. He, is addicted to the flavours of this particular Dhal – it does taste delicious.

Since the lockdown and not being able to visit or favourite Indian restaurant, we have been having Akash Dhal withdrawals so I was determined to try to make a dhal that matched the texture and flavours of the one that we are used to having when we eat out.

Yellow split mung dhal

I make a lot of dhal using different types of lentils and I have used Yellow Split Mung Dhal in this recipe. It is made from whole mung beans that have been hulled and split. You can buy this online, or at your local supermarket.


  • Mung beans contain 25% of protein per weight which is huge in comparison to peas which contain 5% of protein per weight. Plant proteins contains more fibre, folate and potassium than meat protein. Fibre, folate and potassium have huge known health benefits, some of which are:
  • lowering blood pressure
  • improving nutrient and mineral digestibility
  • combating inflammation
  • helping to manage Type 2 Diabetes
  • lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol
  • combating obesity

One serving of mung beans contains 80% of recommended daily folate requirement and they are also full of minerals such as iron and magnesium.


This dhal is ‘soul food’ and I have discovered that using this type of dhal is perfect for getting the restaurant-quality taste and texture that I was looking to achieve.

I made a huge pan of this and expected it to last a few days – Paul liked it that much it was gone in a day. Perhaps it isn’t so good for the waistline in our home!

Moong Dal Tadka – Mung Dhal

This tarka dhal is made with mung dhal – mild and strong garlic flavours.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins


  • 300 grams mung split yellow lentils washed (I also soaked them for an hour and washed again but this is optional)
  • water to cover the lentils (to cover about 2 inches above the dhal in a pan)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I used extra virgin)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 medium green chillies diced
  • lemon juice / salt / coriander


  • Add the dhal, turmeric and water (to cover about 2 inches above the dhal) to a large pan.
  • Bring dhal to a boil and scoop off any extra froth that gathers on top.
  • Reduce to a simmer for around 40 minutes until cooked. If the dhal becomes too thick, you can add more water.
  • To make the tarka:
  • Start this about 5 minutes before the dhal is cooked.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan or small pan.
  • When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and ait for them to sizzle and pop (be careful).
  • Add the asafoetida, fenugreek powder, chillies and garlic and fry for around 3 minutes until the garlic starts to brown.
  • Pour the tarka into the dhal – it should sizzle when combined.
  • Stir in the coriander and if you wish to add lemon juice or extra salt, stir this in too.


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