Dal Tadka

Dal Tadka is a very popular Indian dish served with plain steamed rice, jeera rice, roti or parathas. It is made by cooking lentils along with onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic, chili, and spices until soft and creamy. At the time of serving the dal, a tadka or tempering is made with oil, ghee, garlic, spices and poured sizzling hot over the prepared dal. The tadka enhances the taste and flavor of the dal.

Dal tadka can be made using any of the following – split pigeon peas (arhar dal), split yellow moong dal, split urad dal (split black gram dal) or masoor dal (red lentils).

I make dal tadka by combining all the lentils together. The combination gives it a unique taste. Since making tadka requires a generous amount of oil and ghee, I have used very less amount of oil while preparing the dal. While making the tadka you can use different spices and herbs as per your taste. Some people also use kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) in the tempering.

Making this dal at home is very easy and quick. The spices used are readily available. The dal can be prepared in advance when you have invited guests for dinner. At the time of serving just heat the dal and make tadka and serve it hot. Your guests will be very impressed. Remember to keep the tadka sizzling hot and the seeds and spices used should be crispy and not burnt. Heat the oil and ghee using medium flame, then add the mustard seeds and chopped garlic. Then when the garlic starts to get brown, quickly add the cumin seeds, dry chili, hing and red chili powder. Let it sizzle for a minute on low heat. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and immediately pour the tadka over the dal and serve hot.

Dal Tadka

Dal Tadka

A traditional dal cooked using various dal and spices, and served as restaurant style by pouring hot tadka or tempering made with oil, ghee, garlic and red chili powder. It is served hot with roti, paratha, jeera rice or steamed rice, onions, pickle and pappadum.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 247kcal



  • 1/4 cup yellow split moong dal without skin
  • 1/4 cup masoor dal red lentil without skin
  • 1/8 cup chana dal split yellow gram without skin
  • 1/8 cup tuval dal split yellow pigeon pea
  • 1/8 cup urad dal split black gram without skin
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds rai
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds jeera
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida hing
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 fresh green chili you can use the green chili paste for additional spiceness
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder haldi
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder I have used kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander cumin powder dhania jeera powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3.5 cup water
  • salt as per taste

For Tadka / tempering

  • 4 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds rai
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds jeera
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida hing
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 tsp red chili powder i have used kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander finely chopped for serving


  • Wash and soak the different dals in water for an hour.
    Dal Tadka
  • In a pressure cooker pan, heat oil and ghee.
    Dal Tadka
  • Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, dry red chili and fresh green chili.`
    Dal Tadka
  • Add onions and little salt and saute till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute.
    Dal Tadka
  • Add the finely chopped tomatoes and mix them.
    Dal Tadka
  • Saute them till soft. Crush them with the help of sharp spatula till soft.
    Dal Tadka
  • Add the spices - turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander cumin seed powder.
    Dal Tadka
  • Saute the spices till fragnant for a minute.
    Dal Tadka
  • Drain the soaked dal. Reserve the water. Add the drained dal and mix well.
    Dal Tadka
  • Saute it for 4-5 minutes.
    Dal Tadka
  • Add 3to 3.5 cups of water. Add remaining salt as per taste and mix well.
    Dal Tadka
  • Add the garam masala and mix well.
    Dal Tadka
  • Mix well.
    Dal Tadka
  • Pressure cook the dal on high heat for 4 whistles and on low heat for 2 whistles. Let the cooker cool.
    Dal Tadka
  • Once cooled, remove whistle and open the cooker. Mix and mash the dal with the help of laddle.
    Dal Tadka
  • Remove the prepared dal into the serving bowl. Prepare the tadka/tempering while serving the dal.
    Dal Tadka
  • For Tadka / tempering - Heat oil and ghee in a pan.
    Dal Tadka
  • Add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the chopped garlic and cook till brown as shown.
    Dal Tadka
  • Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida (hing), dry red chili and red chili powder. Add the chopped coriander. Let the tadka sizzle.
    Dal Tadka
  • Pour the sizzling hot tadka over the dal removed in the serving bowl.
    Dal Tadka
  • Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve hot. The Dal Tadka is ready to serve.
    Dal Tadka
  • Serve the dal tadka with roti, paratha, steamed rice or jeera rice along with papadum, pickle, and sliced onions.
    Dal Tadka


Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 22.3mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 4.7mg

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