Tadka is the process of tempering aromatics in oil or ghee to flavour curries.
40 gmginger, coarsely chopped5golden shallots, 4 coarsely chopped, 1 thinly sliced3garlic cloves, 2 coarsely chopped, 1 finely chopped80 gmghee2long green chillies, thinly sliced, or to taste2 tspblack mustard seeds, plus 1 tsp extra2 tsp eachcoriander seeds and cumin seeds, coarsely crushed2 tsp eachground turmeric and garam masala1tomato, coarsely chopped1 sprigfresh curry leaves250 gmyellow split peas800 mlcanned coconut milk500 ml(2 cups) chicken stockJuiceof 2 limes, or to taste, plus extra wedges to serve3carrots, cut into julienneTo serve:thick natural yoghurt and corianderTadka60 gmghee2golden shallots, thinly sliced2long green chillies, thinly sliced2 sprigsfresh curry leaves
Process chopped ginger, chopped shallot and coarsely chopped garlic in a food processor to a paste. Heat half the ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallot mixture and chilli and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender (4-5 minutes). Add seeds and spices and fry until fragrant and mustard seeds start to pop (1-2 minutes), then add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato breaks down (2-3 minutes). Stir in curry leaves, then add split peas, coconut milk and stock, bring to the simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until split peas break down (35-40 minutes). Stir in half the lime juice and season to taste.
When the split peas are almost cooked, heat the remaining ghee in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add sliced shallot and finely chopped garlic and sauté until tender and slightly caramelised (5-6 minutes). Add carrot and toss occasionally until just tender (2-3 minutes). Stir in the remaining lime juice, season to taste and keep warm.
For tadka, heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallot and sauté until light golden (6-7 minutes). Add chilli and stir occasionally until crisp (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and add curry leaves (be careful, hot oil will spit).
To serve, divide curry and carrot mixture among bowls, spoon tadka over and serve hot with yoghurt, coriander and lime wedges.