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RECIPE: Tarka Dhal with Kimchi

Tarka dhal with kimchi mushroom rice and spiced potatoes

Dhal is a delicious, simple and plant-packed meal that is so versatile once you've mastered the basics. Once you're comfortable making the recipe, you can mix in things like kale, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, aubergine and more.

See in the image above, I've made this tarka dhal with kale, as well as mushroom and lime rice and lightly spiced potatoes. The potatoes are just boiled and mixed with sauteed onions, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Oh, and of course there's a hefty serving of kimchi to add spice and sourness to the meal, alongside a host of different veg! The best part is this meal is that many different sauerkrauts or kimchis can go with it. As a variety of curries are often served together creating a big fusion of flavour, any of our ferments can accompany your curry dishes.

It's a great one to batch cook too and portion for the freezer or for next day hassle-free meals. We're all feeling the pinch right now so batch cooking can help to reduce how much energy you use to make meals, especially if you re-heat in the microwave!

Ingredients, serves 3

Medium onion x 1

Large clove of garlic x 2

Mustard seeds x 1/2 tbsp

Cumin seeds x 1 tsp

Large pinch of curry leaves (optional)

Lentils (I prefer red split lentils) x 200g

Garam Masala x 1/2 tbsp

Curry Powder x 1 tsp

Turmeric x 1/2 tsp

Salt x tsp ( or 1 vegetable stock cube)

Olive or vegetable oil x 2 tbsp

Coconut milk x 1/2 tin

For the Tarka:

Small onion x 1

Garlic clove x 1

Pinch of mustard seeds

Pinch of curry leaves

Olive or vegetable oil x 1 tbsp



1. Dice the onion, mince the garlic and fry with oil in a large saucepan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves (if using) and cumin then fry until onions are half cooked (about 5-10 mins) .

2. Add a cup of water to the onions. Wash the lentils and add them to the saucepan too.

Then add your garam masala, turmeric, curry powder and salt (or stock).

3. Cook for a further 15 minutes whilst stirring. If your lentils are still hard or sticking to the pan add more water as you go, a little at a time to avoid making it too watery.

4. Once the lentils are soft, you can turn the heat off whilst you make your tarka.

5. Dice and fry the remaining onion, garlic, mustard seeds and curry leaves in a small frying pan with your 1 tbsp of oil.

6. Once your onions are soft and transparent add all of this mix to your lentils. Add the tarka just before serving to give it a fresh boost of flavour.

7. Finally open your tin of coconut milk, and using a spoon scoop the top thickest half of the milk into your dhal. Avoid pouring the tin as you wont get the thick part which is what you want. Give your complete tarka dhal a good mix and you're ready to go, serving with a big heap of kimchi and accompanying rice or potatoes.

Had a go? We want to know! Tag us @craftypickleco on Facebook and Instagram 🙏

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