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Yellow Split Pea & Wild Garlic Tarka Dhal

Yellow split pea & wild garlic tarka dhal

30-40 min


  1. 200 g yellow split peas
  2. 60 g wild garlic leaves, washed and roughly chopped
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. 4 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  5. 1 tin organic chopped tomatoes
  6. 1 tsp turmeric
  7. 1 green chilli, seeds in (de-seed for a milder heat), finely chopped
  8. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  10. 2 tbsp peanut oil
  11. 1 litre water

For the tarka (spiced oil)

  1. 2 tbsp peanut oil
  2. 1 shallot, very thinly sliced
  3. 1 tsp chilli flakes
  4. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  5. 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  6. pinch of asafoetida


  1. Place the yellow split peas in a sieve and wash under cold running water until the water runs clear.
  2. Place the oil in a large pan over a high heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the split peas, the ginger, chopped chilli, turmeric, and sea salt and stir to combine, then add the tomatoes and the water.
  3. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low so that it bubbles and simmers gently, stirring occasionally. When the split peas are tender, but still holding their shape (this will take about an hour), add the wild garlic and most of the coriander. Stir to combine.
  4. Now make the tarka. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over a high heat. When it is hot add the sliced shallot and stir constantly until it begins to brown. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and chilli flakes. Stir and cook for thirty seconds before adding the asafoetida. Cook for a further thirty seconds, stirring as you do. Remove from the heat.
  5. Carefully pour the tarka mixture onto the dhal. Stir to combine. Serve the dhal piping hot, sprinkled with the reserved coriander and accompanied by rice and/or Indian flatbreads.

Recipe & photo from Steve Dent AKA The Circus Gardener’s Kitchen