Dal tadka is a popular Indian dish made with lentils and a tempering of spices. The lentils are cooked until soft and then flavored with a tempering made of ghee, cumin seeds, garlic, red chilies, and spices. This hearty, nutritious, and aromatic lentil dish is staple in every Indian household. Dal tadka is a hearty and flavorful dish that is often served with rice or roti.
About Dal Tadka
Dal tadka is a popular Indian dish made with a base of lentils. the word dal means lentils and “tadka” refers to the tempering process, which adds a burst of flavor and aroma to the dish. Every home in India makes this modest lentil-based dish, which is loved by people of different ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and culinary preferences.
Typically, the lentils are cooked until they are soft and creamy, forming a filling and wholesome basis. Yellow moong dal (split mung lentils), masoor dal (red lentils), and the perennially popular toor or arhar dal (yello lentils / split pigeon) are examples of commonly used lentils. Due to the high protein and fiber content of these lentils, Dal Tadka is a filling and healthful option.
How To Make Dal Tadka (Stepwise Photos)
1. Add a cup of toor dal (split pigeon) in a bowl. You can also use the combo of masoor dal (red lentils), moong dal (split mung lentils) and toor dal (split pigeon).
2. Rinse the dal with cold water 3 to 4 times until the water runs clear.
3. Add the dal to a pressure cooker.
4. Add 3 cups of water to a pressure cooker.
5. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric.
6. Add 1 teaspoon oil and add 1 teaspoon salt. Close the pressure cooker and cook on medium heat for 5 whistles or until the dal is soft and mushy.
Make The Masala
7. Meanwhile the dal cooks, heat the 2 tablespoon ghee in a medium pan over medium heat. If you are vegan then you can use oil.
8. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and fry lightly until fragrant about 1 minute.
9. Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic, ginger and 1 green chili (slit or chopped) and cook until softened about 1 minute.
10. Add 1 medium size chopped onion, fry until slightly golden.
11. Add 1 medium chopped tomato saute until the tomatoes become soft.
12. Add fresh coriander leaves.
13. Add asafoetida and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
14. Meanwhile check if the dal is done in pressure cooker. Dal has to be soft and mushy. Stir the dal and mash lightly.
15. Then add the cooked dal in masala, add more salt as required.
16. Add hot water to adjust the consistency of dal. Mix well so that everything combines uniformly. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes then turn off the heat.
To Make The Tadka (Tempering)
17. Heat 2 tablespoon ghee/oil in small pan on medium heat.
18. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and fry on low heat until splutter and release aromatic flavor.
19. Add 2 dried red chilies and give good stir until the chilies turn slightly darker in color.
20. Turn off the heat then add 1 teaspoon red chili powder stir it.
21. Now pour this hot tadka (tempering) on the dal. Mix well to combine the flavors.
There you have it, an authentic and delicious homemade Dal Tadka that will wow your family and friends. The harmonious blend of lentils, aromatic spices, and the irresistible tempering of ghee and spices create a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving for more. It makes a filling, hearty Indian meal when paired with steamed rice or warm naan bread or paratha. Every bite will taste like India!
Dal Tadka Recipe
- 1 Cup Toor Dal (split pigeon peas)
- 3 Cups Water (To cook the dal)
- 3/4 to 1/2 Cup Hot Water (To adjust the consistency)
- 1 to 2 tablespoon Ghee/Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Garlic (Fine chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Ginger (Fine chopped)
- 1 Green Chili Chopped (Optional)
- 1 Medium Onion (Fine chopped)
- 1 Medium Tomato (Fine chopped)
- 2 tablespoon Coriander Leaves (for cooking dal & garnish)
- 1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing)
For Tadka (Tempering)
- 1 tablespoon Ghee/Oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumins seeds
- 2 dried red chilies
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- Add dal to a bowl and rinse the dal in cold water until the water runs clear
- Add the dal to a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water, turmeric powder, salt and oil
- Close the pressure cooker and cook on medium heat for 5 whistles or until the dal is soft and mushy.
Make the Masala
- While the dal cooks, heat ghee or oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
- Add the cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and green chili and cook until softened, about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped onion fry it until slightly golden, add chopped tomatoes saute until the tomatoes become soft.
- Add the coriander leaves, asafoetida and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Check if the dal cooked. Dal has to be soft cooked. Lightly mash the dal.
- Add the cooked masala in the dal. Add hot water to adjust the consistency. Add more salt as required then turn off the heat.
Make the Tadka (Tempering)
- Heat ghee/oil in a small pan on medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds and fry on low heat until fragrant.
- Add dried red chilies and give good strir.
- Turn off the heat and add red chili powder stir it and pour it on the dal.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice, roti, paratha or nan.
- You can also use other types of lentils in this recipe, such as moong dal (split mung lentils) masoor dal (red lentils).
- If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can cook the dal in a pot on the stovetop. Just add the dal to a pot with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the dal is soft and mushy.
- If you don't like spicy food, you can skip the green chili or use less red chili podercan adjust the red chili powder.