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dal tadka recipe
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5 from 3 votes

Restaurant Style Dal Tadka

Dal tadka recipe is a healthy, delicious, comforting & easy to make lentil dish from Indian cuisine. It is a popular Indian food, a lentil curry made with toor dal (split pigeon pea) or moong dal (yellow lentils). It is a simple vegetarian Indian meal that is so comforting and delicious.
In this recipe, lentils are cooked with onion, tomatoes , chilies and tempered with whole spices. The tempering added to the cooked lentils is called tadka. This wholesome creamy dal tastes delicious with rice or roti.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: dal tadka
Servings: 4
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Harini


  • 1/2 cup split pigeon peas toor dal
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 2 tablespoons chana dal
  • 1/2 cup onions chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • 1/2 inch ginger peeled and crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • water as needed

To Smoke Dal (Optional Step)

  • A small piece of charcoal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ghee or oil

Tadka For Dal

  • 1 tablespoon ghee OR oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • Some coriander leaves for garnish.


  • Pick and rinse the lentils well. I have used 1/2 cup toor dal or arhar dal, 1/4 cup moong dal and 2 tablespoons chana dal. Add the rinsed dal to a pressure cooker.
    lentils for cooking
  • Add 2 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Salt and turmeric is for cooking the lentils well. Close the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles in medium flame. If you are using an instant pot to cook the lentils cook for 12 minutes in manual or pressure cooker mode.
    cooked lentils
  • Once done, switch off the flame and let the pressure release naturally. Mash the boiled dal well and set aside.
    Dhaba dal recipe step-6
  • Now to make the first tempering or tadka for dal heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 bay leaf to the hot oil. Saute for a minute.
    frying cumin seeds, bay leaf in oil
  • Add chopped onions, 2 slit green chili and 1 teaspoon minced ginger and garlic. Saute well for another minute.
    onions sautéed in oil
  • Next add chopped tomatoes and saute. Also add red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Cook until the tomatoes turn soft and the masala leaves out oil from the sides in medium heat.
    onion tomato masala for dal
  • Add the mashed dal to this masala. Season with salt and add 3/4 cups of water. Mix well and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Switch off the flame.
    Dhaba dal recipe step-7
  • For final tadka heat ghee in a small pan or tadka pan. Once the ghee is hot add cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 3 dried red chilies, 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder. Fry for 2 minutes in low flame. I have also added few curry leaves.
    making tadka for dal
  • Add this tadka to the prepared dal. Mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves and remove from flame. Add lemon juice and mix. Serve hot with cooked rice or roti.


1. Dungar method or charcoal method is optional.
2. Adding garlic to the tadka is optional too.


Serving: 3servings | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 512IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg