What is tadka dal?
Dal tadka dhaba style or yellow dal is one of the signature dishes of Indian main course. You can never ever get bored of it. A good mix dal tadka dhaba style is a dish you will savor always. I always love having this dish with some matar pulao or a huge bowl of fried rice. Pair it with a Paneer curry or achari aloo, raita and a tandoori roti. This is a perfect vegetarian main course. I am already hungry as I write this 🙂 If you do not want to go elaborate with your menu, pair it with some fried poori or plain basmati rice.
Different types of lentil recipes
Dahl is a great source of protein for vegetarians. Do not forget to add a dash of lime juice on top. It increases the flavor as well as help in Iron absorption.
Generally, thoor dhal/tuvar dal/toor dal is used to make tadka dal. However, we can used mixed dals too. This improves nutrient value as well as makes it easy to digest it. You do not need a meat based diet to get your protein.
Lentils are easy to digest as well as cheap. A packet lasts long and makes multiple meals. You can make variety of dishes with your dal and never get bored.
Indian lentils for reference:
- Moong dal - yellow split lentils
- Sabut moong dal/Hari moong dal - green gram split lentils
- Chilke wali moong dal-split green gram
- Urad dal chilka- split black gram
- Kali dal/Maa ki dal - black gram whole lentils
- Urad dal - split black gram
- Toor dal/arhar - yellow pigeon peas split lentils
- Chana dal -split Bengal gram
- Masoor dal -red lentils
- Moth dal - Turkish gram
Other important ones are turai dal, lauki chana dal, dal makhni, sambar, rasam, amti. Dal tadka for jeera rice is a match made in heaven. Indian cuisine has a variety of lentils and many ways to use them. Be it as a curry, appetizer and even a dessert. See the space below to learn how to make mix dal.
- Mixed lentils -(chana, tuvar, masoor, moong)
- Ginger-garlic- chilly
- Cumin seeds
- Spices -turmeric,red chilly powder, garam masala
- Ghee/oil if vegan
How to make dal tadka?
- Soak the mixed dal in a bowl of water for 20-30 minutes.
- Cook them with water, tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Generally we add twice cups water to 1 cup of dal. You can adjust according to your choice. Add a small bowl of water if you feel the dal is too thick later.
3. In a pan, heat oil or ghee and cook ginger, garlic, chilly with cumin. 4. Add onion and cook until golden brown. 5. Mash the cooked dal.
6. Add onion mix to the dal and keep cooking for another 5 mins. Stir in between and let it come to a boil.
Read the recipe of restaurant style Dal tadka below:
Dal tadka recipe
- pressure cooker
- 1 cup mixed lentils Masoor (red lentil,tuvar/ arhar (pigeon peas),chana(Split chickpeas),mung)
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 2-3 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbsp green chilli garlic,ginger each
- 2-3 tbsp Oil for tempering
- 1 tsp Coriander for garnish
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 2-3 dried red chillies
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- Salt as per taste
- Soak lentils/dal in 3 cups of water for 4-6 hours.
- Pressure cook the dal with chopped tomatoes,salt and turmeric.Keep it aside.
- In a pan, heat oil, add cumin seeds and dried chillies and let it splutter.
- Add ginger,garlic,chilli and onions. Let it cook until onions are golden brown.
- Mash the dal and add onions mixture to the dal.
- Let it come to a boil,garnish with chopped coriander leaves
- Serve hot with jeera rice/pulao.
I have used pressure cooker here in this recipe. However, you can always use your instant pot for it. I am yet to try this in mine though. Will update the recipe card as soon as I do. 🙂
If you like your food spicy, increase the red chili powder in tempering. If you like your dal mild, use paprika or Kashmiri red chilly powder which are a milder variety. You may also temper the red chilies separately along with a teaspoon cumin seeds in ghee/oil in a tadka pan. Always let the seeds splutter and then add the red chili and optionally,heeng Add it over the dal for extra flavor.
You can use ghee for tempering instead of oil if you are vegetarian. Avoid using heeng or asafoetida in if gluten-free. You can also use a single lentil of your choice to make this recipe if you do not have all of the above at home.
You can cook Dal in any heavy bottom pan or even a slow cooker. You can use a instant pot or a pressure cooker too. The cook time will differ depending on the equipment. Check if the lentils are ready, by mashing a spoonful by using your thumb and index finger. Otherwise let it cook for 10-15 mins.
If you are short of time on a weeknight? Boil the dal of two days together. Use half and remaining the next day. Always temper the dal fresh, it tastes perfect. If you have lots of dal left, strain it to use water for making rasam.Use the boiled dal to make dal ka paratha.
Need more moong dal recipes?
- Moong dal ke pakode
- Mung dal kachori
- Dal vada
- Moong dal chilka
- Brown rice khichdi
- Sai bhaji/dal palak
- Mixed dal dhokla
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