Dal Tadka is a North Indian dal (Lentil) recipe. Even though it is the most common dish in Indian cuisine, it enjoys an iconic place due to its distinct taste and aroma.
Dal Tadka is also a favorite and most demanded food at Indian Restaurants and Dhabas. Another very popular Indian Dal recipe is Dal Fry.
Dal Tadka can be prepared using Toor dal cooked in a spicy onion tomato masala. You can also use a mix of different dals and most commonly used ones are Toor dal (Split Pigeon Peas), Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas), Moong Dal (Yellow Lentil) or Masoor Dal (Red Split Lentil).
The tempering for this dish is prepared in Desi Ghee (Clarified butter) which gives it an amazing flavor. However, you can also use vegetable oil to prepare the tempering. Seasoning it with a variety of spices like jeera (cumin seeds), garlic and ginger and topping with fresh coriander leaves makes this dish aromatic and delicious. A dash of Hing ( Asafoetida) further enhances its taste and aroma.
Dal Tadka tastes best when served hot and goes well with hot pulkas, chapati, naan etc. It also makes a fantastic combination when eaten along with hot steamed rice or Jeera Rice
Ingredients For Dal Tadka Recipe
For the Dal
- 1 Cup Toor Dal (Arhar Dal / Split Pigeon Peas)
- 1 Medium Sized Onion
- 2 Medium Sized Tomatoes
- 1-2 Green Chillies
- ~1 inch piece of Ginger
- 1 Teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds (Rai)
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1.5 Tablespoons Ghee or Oil
For the Tempering
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
- 5-6 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 Dried Red Chillies
- 1 Pinch of Asafoetida (Heeng)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Ghee or Oil
Step By Step Instructions for Dal Tadka Recipe
- Wash the Toor Dal 3-4 times and soak them in warm water for 15-20 minutes.
- Drain the water and add the Dal to a pressure cooker. Also add 3 cups of water.
- Add Salt and Turmeric Powder to the Dal and stir to mix. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook till you get 1 whistle. Then let the steam come out before opening the cooker.
- Add some ghee in a pan. You can also use vegetable oil or butter instead of ghee.
- Add Black Mustard Seeds (Rai) when the ghee becomes hot. Fry till the Rai starts to splutter.
- Add chopped onions to the pan along with finely chopped Ginger and Green Chillies.
- Fry till the onions turn golden brown and start leaving fat.
- Now add pureed or chopped tomatoes. Fry till the tomatoes are cooked.
- Add Red Chilli Powder and Garam Masala to the gravy.
- Cook for 2 minutes or the the gravy is nicely roasted.
- Add the cooked Dal to the prepared onion tomato masala, and mix well.
- Also add some chopped coriander leaves on the top.
- To prepare the tempering, heat 2 teaspoons of ghee in a small pan.
- Then add Cumin Seeds and fry till they start to splutter. Add a pinch of Asafoetida (Heeng).
- Add minced Garlic Cloves to the ghee and fry till they turn light brown.
- Also fry 2 Dried Red Chillies. Finally add a little bit of Red Chilli Powder to give color to the tempering.
- Pour the tempering on top of the Dal. Mix everything together before serving. This Dal tastes best when served hot along with some mild flavored rice. It can also be served in the side of any Indian bread and dry vegetable dish.