Mixed Dal with Tomato Tarka Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Mixed Dal with Tomato Tarka

Orange and yellow split peas and mung beans give this soup a lovely golden color.



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⅓ cup dried red lentils
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⅓ cup dried split yellow or green peas
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⅓ cup dried split mung beans
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3 Tbs. melted butter, ghee, or vegetable oil, divided
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2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger, divided
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1 tsp. ground turmeric
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4 cups baby spinach leaves (4 oz.)
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1 tsp. salt
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2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
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1 medium onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
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1 tsp. garam masala
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⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
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3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
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1 large tomato, diced
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Cilantro leaves for garnish, optional


1. Rinse and drain lentils, split peas, and mung beans; place in large bowl, and cover with hot water. Soak 30 minutes. Drain.

2. Combine drained lentil mixture, 1 Tbs. butter, 1 Tbs. ginger, turmeric, and 6 cups water in saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer 1 hour, or until legumes are very soft. Whisk with wire whisk to break up lentils. Add spinach and salt, cover, and simmer 10 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbs. butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until seeds darken. Add onion, garam masala, and cayenne, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions soften and begin to brown. Stir in garlic and remaining 1 Tbs. ginger; cook 1 minute. Add tomato, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until tomato releases juices and most of liquid has evaporated.

4. Stir tomato mixture into lentil mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; garnish with cilantro, if using.

Nutrition Information: 

7 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
3 g
21 g
12 mg
358 mg
7 g
3 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

This soup looks delicious! I love lentils and peas. I am gonna try to make this soup.

I have made this soup three or four times. It is delicious. I usually make the full recipe and freeze it in portion sizes. The flavor is awesome! I follow the directions exactly as listed!

Excellent soup - the aromas are amazing. If using whole mung beans, you might want to cook it a bit longer. Glad to hear it freezes well because it makes a ton!

This was awesome! I followed it for the exception of adding more cayenne and more salt. I'd make it again for sure!

Can't find organic split mung beans, though already have whole mung beans. Online prices are very steep. Should I use whole mung beans and soak longer, precook?

Substitute for split mung beans ?

Wonderful! I will sub olive oil for the butter next time just for the health benefits. Great complex flavor and very fragrant.

This soup is perfectly delicious!