Riverford Recipes: How to cook yourself tarka dal with spring greens

Milton Keynes’ friendly Riverford franchisees Vanessa and Russell Cook have joined Celebrate:MK as food columnists to bring you a healthy recipe each month. Vanessa starts with tarka dal with spring greens.

tarka dal with spring greens

I just love to cook and eat with the seasons. And since most of the dry ingredients for this recipe are already in my store cupboard, it’s just a case of pulling out some nice fresh greens from my veg box, and off I go.

If you haven’t any spring greens, spinach is delicious too – and I’ve even made it before using finely shredded cabbage.

This fabulous Riverford recipe is a great midweek supper. It’s quick, easy and super tasty.

The ingredients you will need are…

• 125g yellow mung dal (or red lentils) rinsed.

• Oil for frying – sunflower, vegetable or coconut.

• A small onion, finely sliced.

• A clove of garlic, finely chopped.

• 2-3 cm piece of ginger, peeled & grated.

• A quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric.

• 1 chilli deseeded & finely chopped.

• 200g of spring greens, rib stalks cut out.

• A small handful of fresh coriander leaves.

• Lemon juice to taste.

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MK’s Riverford franchisees Russell and Vanessa Cook

And for the Tarka…

• 2 tablespoons of oil.

• 2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds.

• 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced.

• A quarter of a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes.

• 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.

First you need to put the mung in a large heatproof bowl and pour it over 600mls of boiling water, then leave it to soak.

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large heavy based pan and fry the onion gently for 10 minutes until soft and translucent – then add the garlic ginger, turmeric and chilli then cook for a couple of minutes.

Skim any scum from the top of the mung then add them along with the soaking liquid to the onion mix.

Bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 minutes until the mung are cooked through and soft (you can now mash them if you like, for a creamier texture).

Whilst the mung are cooking, boil the spring greens until tender (around 6-8 minutes).

Drain them and refresh in very cold water, squeeze to remove as much water as possible then finely shred the leaves.

Make the tarka by gently heating the oil, then adding the mustard seeds, garlic, chilli and cumin.

Then fry, stirring constantly, for a minute or two until the mustard seeds start to pop.

Whilst the tarka is heating up, stir the spring greens into the mung to warm them through then add the coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice, then drizzle the tarka over the top.

If you’re very hungry add some rice, or a flatbread such as chapatti or roti.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

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Call Vanessa on 01908 238100 to order an organic Riverford recipe or veg box straight to your door.


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