Parveen The Spice Queen: Daal - To ghee or not to ghee?

Whenever I find I have over indulged, I tend to make my Tarka Daal, which is light and garlicky in taste.

Friday, 9th June 2017, 12:59 pm
Tarka Daal.
Tarka Daal.

I have my daal with a plain boiled rice and a lemon and coriander salad - quite healthy, methinks! However, in complete contrast is the other popular daal - Daal Makani, which is made with lashings of butter or ghee.

Makani comes from the word Makhan which actually means, butter or clarified butter, also known as Ghee.

I recently went to Dubai to cook for a client and had some of the best Daal Makani, I’ve ever had and boy I could taste the ghee.

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Parveen Ashraf The Spice Queen

I think I put on three pounds in one evening!

Ghee used to be synonymous with Indian cuisine. It’s made by gently simmering butter and allowing the milk solids to separate and fall to the bottom, thus leaving you with a purer clarified butter.

Delicious but quite calorific. I myself have to be kind to my waistline, so opt for vegetable oil, but I think my daal taste fab.

Well, don’t take my word for it, give it a go for yourself.

Parveen Ashraf The Spice Queen

Email me on [email protected] for a FREE daal spice bag.

Tarka Daal

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 55 mins

Serves approx 4 - 6 people


250g Red Split lentils

A SPICE BAG(contains: 1 tsp chilli powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves)

2 medium sized onions – thinly sliced

4 tbsp vegetable oil

4 cloves of garlic – crushed

2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander

1 tsp salt


1. Wash the lentils 2 or 3 times to wash out the starch and then drain.

2. Add the lentils into a large pan. Add 850 ml of hot water, salt and the SPICE BAG and bring to the boil.

Cover and simmer for 30 mins. Stir occasionally.

3. The lentils should look like a thick soup now. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. In a separate frying pan, on high heat, fry the onions until golden brown.

5. Add the crushed garlic and keep stirring on low heat for 3 mins. This is called the ‘Tarka’

6. Gently, add the ‘tarka’ sauce to the cooked lentils, bring to the boil. Add the coriander, stir through. Cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

Parveen’s Top Tip

If you want to add any chick peas, spinach or kale, add it at step 6 and follow the recipe through.