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.
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.
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.
Once done, switch off the flame and let the pressure release naturally. Mash the boiled dal well and set aside.
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.
Add chopped onions, 2 slit green chili and 1 teaspoon minced ginger and garlic. Saute well for another minute.
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.
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.
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.
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.