Riverford Wicked Leeks
Spring green tarka dahl recipe image

Print Spring green tarka dahl

The comforting silkiness of the lentils contrast beautifully with fresh spices and sharp herbs in this Indian dish. Experiment as much as you like with the spices – this recipe is endlessly versatile. Serve with plain rice or flatbread.


  • 250g split red lentils
  • 1 litre boiling water
  • Oil for frying, e.g. vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 chillies, deseeded & finely chopped
  • 200g tinned chopped tomatoes (or use a few chopped fresh ones)
  • 300g spring greens, tough stalks removed, leaves finely shredded
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • for the tarka:
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped or sliced
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


  1. Put the lentils in a large bowl, pour over the water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large pan and add the onion. Fry gently for 8 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the ginger, turmeric and chillies. Cook for another couple of minutes and add the tinned tomatoes, the lentils and their soaking liquid (skim off any scum before adding).
  4. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through and soft. Using a potato masher, very lightly mash the lentils, leaving some still intact.
  5. In another pan, add a tablespoon of oil and the shredded spring greens. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the greens have wilted, then remove from the pan and add them to the lentil mixture.
  6. For the tarka: In the same pan as you cooked the greens in, add a tablespoon of oil. Add the mustard seeds, garlic, chilli and cumin.
  7. Fry, stirring constantly, for a minute or two, until the mustard seeds are popping.
  8. Add the chopped fresh coriander to the lentil mixture (if using). Split the lentils between four serving bowls and pour over the tarka mixture to serve.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes