250 g (8 oz) dried red lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon cumin seeds. roughly crushed
2 cm (4 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
200 g (7 oz) canned chopped tomatoes
600 ml (1 pint) boiling vegetable stock
150 ml natural yogurt
salt and pepper
torn coriander leaves, to garnish
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed
pinch of ground turmeric
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Rinse the lentils well with cold running water, drain and put into the slow cooker pot with the onion, spices, ginger, tomatoes and boiling stock.
2.Stir in a little salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the lentils are soft and tender.
3.When almost ready to serve, make the tarka. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the remaining tarka ingredients and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes.
4.Roughly mash the lentil mixture, then spoon into bowls, add spoonfuls of yogurt and drizzle with the tarka.
5. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with warmed naan bread, if liked.
6.FOR TARKA DAHL WITH SPINACH, cook the lentils in the same way as above, adding 125 g (4 oz) rinsed, drained and roughly shredded spinach leaves for the last 15 minutes.
7.Fry the tarka spices as above, adding 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red chillies, if liked.

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