Dal Tadka

Yellow lentils cooked with spices and served with an aromatic tempering of cumin seeds, garlic and dried red chillies.

Time: 30 minutes


Serves: 4

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  1. 1/2 cup tuvar dal (split pigeon peas)
  2. 2 tablespoons chana dal (split bengal gram)
  3. 3 tomatoes
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  6. 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
  7. 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
  8. 2 green chillies, cut vertically into 2 halves
  9. 2 tablespoons oil
  10. 1 tablespoon ghee
  11. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  13. 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder (dried raw mango powder)
  14. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  15. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  16. 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
  17. 3-4 dried whole red chillies
  18. Salt to taste


  1. Soak the dal in warm water for about an hour.
  2. Grind one tomato in a grinder and finely chop the other 2 tomatoes. Keep them aside to be used later.
  3. Drain the dal. Combine tuvar dal, chana dal, 1 teaspoon oil and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high heat for 4 whistles and on low heat for 10 minutes. Let the steam escape before opening the lid of pressure cooker.
  4. In the meanwhile, prepare the tadka (onion & tomato masala) for the dal. Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté till they turn golden brown in colour. Add chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder (1/2 teaspoon), salt and cook for 3-4 minutes or till tomatoes become mushy and oil starts separating from the masala. The masala is ready, keep it aside.
  5. Add 1 cup water, freshly ground tomato, ginger paste, turmeric powder, amchur powder and salt to the cooked dal and let it boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat. Add onion & tomato masala, green chillies, lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well.
  7. Take this dal out in a serving bowl.
  8. Heat ghee in a small pan for the final tempering. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add garlic, dried whole red chillies and asafoetida. Saute till the garlic turns golden brown in colour. Add 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder and turn off the heat. Pour this tempering over the dal and serve immediately.

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