Dal Tadka Recipe

Dal Tadka Recipe

25 min
2-3 People
15 min



Growing up, there were certain flavors that felt like a warm hug from home. One such dish that holds a special place in my heart is the humble Dal Tadka. It's not just a recipe; it's a journey through the diverse landscapes of India, from the vibrant streets of Rajasthan to the serene backwaters of Kerala. The aroma of cumin, the sizzle of mustard seeds, and the earthy richness of lentils—it's a symphony of flavors that transports me back to cherished memories with every bite.




Recipe of Dal Tadka




For Dal Tadka:

  • ½ cup Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas)
  • ½ cup Yellow Dal (Split Yellow Lentils)
  • ½ cup White Urad Dal (Split White Lentils)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Mustard Oil


For Tempering:

  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Chopped Onion
  • 2 Whole Red Chillies
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Green Chilli, julienned
  • 1 tsp Chopped Ginger
  • 1 tsp Slit Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves)


For Garnish:

  • 1 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Coriander
  • ½ Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Ginger Juliennes
  • 1 tsp Green Chilli, julienned





  1. Preparation of Dal Tadka:

    • Soak all the dals separately for at least 3 hours.
    • Mix all the soaked dals with double the quantity of water.
    • Add turmeric, salt, and mustard oil to the dals.
    • Boil in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles.
  2. Making the Tadka (Tempering):

    • Heat butter in a pan. When half melted, add chopped onions and cook till light brown.
    • Add whole red chillies, cinnamon sticks, and cumin seeds. Saute for a minute.
    • Add julienned green chillies, chopped ginger, and slit green chillies. Stir well.
    • Now, add chopped tomatoes and sauté until they are soft.
    • Add coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, and garam masala powder. Mix well.
    • While it is cooking, add hing, red chilli powder, and kasoori methi. Cook for another minute.
  3. Combining Dal and Tempering:

    • Add the boiled dal tadka to the tempering mixture in the pan. Mix well on medium flame. Adjust the seasoning according to taste.
  4. Finishing the Dal Tadka:

    • Finish the dal tadka with ghee, chopped coriander, lemon juice, ginger juliennes, and green chilli juliennes.
  5. Garnish:

    • Garnish the dal tadka with a swirl of ghee, chopped coriander, ginger juliennes, and green chilli juliennes.
  6. Serve hot with rice or roti.




About the Recipe:


Dal Tadka is a quintessential Indian lentil dish that combines three varieties of lentils—chana dal, urad dal, and moong dal—with a medley of spices to create a comforting and wholesome meal. The lentils are simmered to perfection and tempered with aromatic spices like cumin, mustard seeds, and dried red chilies, imparting a depth of flavor that is both satisfying and nourishing. This dish is often enjoyed with rice or roti and pairs beautifully with a dollop of creamy yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.



Cooking Tips:


  1. Soak the Lentils: To ensure even cooking and a creamy texture, soak the lentils in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Tempering Technique: Master the art of tempering by heating the spices in hot oil or ghee until they release their aroma, infusing the dish with robust flavors.
  3. Adjust Spices: Tailor the spice level to your preference by adjusting the amount of dried red chilies or adding green chilies for extra heat.
  4. Consistency Check: Pay attention to the consistency of the dal, ensuring it is neither too thick nor too thin. Add water as needed to achieve the desired texture.
  5. Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh ginger, garlic, and tomatoes for vibrant flavor and aroma.
  6. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Elevate the presentation and flavor of the dish by garnishing with freshly chopped cilantro or kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) before serving.



Pairing Guide:


  • Rice: Dal Tadka pairs wonderfully with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice for a satisfying meal.
  • Roti: Enjoy the dal with soft and fluffy rotis or naan bread for a comforting dinner option.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with a side of tangy pickle, cooling raita, or crispy papad for added texture and flavor contrast.




Frequently Asked Questions about Dal Tadka:


  1. What is Dal Tadka?

    • Dal Tadka is a popular Indian lentil dish made with a combination of lentils, aromatic spices, and tempered with ghee or oil.
  2. What lentils are used in Dal Tadka?

    • Dal Tadka typically uses a mix of chana dal (split Bengal gram), urad dal (split black gram), and moong dal (split green gram).
  3. How do you temper Dal Tadka?

    • Tempering for Dal Tadka involves heating ghee or oil, adding mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies, and curry leaves until fragrant, then pouring it over the cooked lentils.
  4. Can I adjust the spice level of Dal Tadka?

    • Yes, you can adjust the spice level by varying the amount of dried red chilies or adding fresh green chilies according to your preference.
  5. What is the best way to serve Dal Tadka?

    • Dal Tadka is traditionally served with steamed rice or roti, along with accompaniments like pickle, raita, or papad.
  6. How do I achieve the perfect consistency for Dal Tadka?

    • To achieve the desired consistency, adjust the amount of water added while cooking the lentils until it reaches the desired thickness.
  7. Can I customize Dal Tadka with additional ingredients?

    • Absolutely! You can customize Dal Tadka by adding vegetables like tomatoes, onions, or spinach for added flavor and nutrition.
  8. Is Dal Tadka a healthy dish?

    • Yes, Dal Tadka is a nutritious dish rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any meal.
  9. Can I make Dal Tadka ahead of time?

    • Yes, Dal Tadka can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
  10. Is Dal Tadka suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

    • Yes, Dal Tadka is a vegetarian dish that can be easily made vegan by using oil instead of ghee for tempering.


These FAQs cover the basics of preparing and enjoying Dal Tadka, ensuring a delightful culinary experience for all.