Dal Tadka


A simple, nutritious dal recipe topped with tempering that goes well with steaming hot rice.



  • 1/2 cup toor dal/split pigeon peas
  • 2 cups water approximately to cook the dal
  • 10 garlic cloves( adjust to individual taste)
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1/4th” piece of ginger
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp oil /ghee (1 tbsp+ 1 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp oil to be added while pressure cooking the dal
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (3/4th tsp +3/4th tsp)
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder ( 1/8 tsp to be added while cooking the dal and the rest to be added in two stages as mentioned below)
  • 1/4th tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp kasoori methi
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 dry red chillies or 4 bor chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish


  • Rinse toor dal and soak in water for an hour. Pressure cook the dal along with asafoetida, 1/8 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp oil and water until pressure is released thrice so that it can be mashed well. After the pressure settles down , remove dal from the cooker and mash it well. Crush ginger,garlic and green chilly in a mortar and pestle and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee in a nonstick/ ceramic pan, add cumin seeds,when they crackle add asafoetida, crushed ginger garlic green chilly and saute till you get the aroma, then add turmeric powder.Add the tomatoes and saute till soft.
  • Add the cooked dal, a little water to get the desired consistency. Lightly warm the kasoori methi on a nonstick pan, crush them and add to the dal. Add garam masala, salt,boil the dal well and let it simmer on low flame.
  • In a non stick/ ceramic seasoning pan heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee add cumin seeds, when they crackle add curry leaves, dry chillies, saute well and switch off the flame. Add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Stir well. Pour this tempering on the simmering dal.
  • Stir well and bring to a boil so that all the flavours sink into the dal. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve piping hot with steamed rice/ jeera rice or even roti.


  • Soaking the dal in water reduces pressure cooking time, adding 1 tsp of oil to the dal while pressure cooking prevents excessive foaming of the dal.
  • Adding turmeric powder to the dal while cooking gives a nice colour to the dal.
  • Warming the kasoori methi before adding to the dal increases its flavour and aroma. Adding kasoori methi is very much optional but it adds flavour to the dal.
  • 1/2 cup toor dal when soaked in water gives approximately 1 1/4th cup toor dal, this reduces cooking time.

Join the Conversation

  1. Dal looks delicious & tempting ! Find your tips very useful, thanks for sharing !!

    1. Thanx a tonn Megala 🙂

  2. Nice recipe

  3. Adding Garam Masala & ginger to Dal might give extra flavor to it, well explained 😊

    1. Yes Ramya addition of ginger and garam masala actually adds flavour to the dal 🙂 thank you

  4. I can have this anytime just like that. Lovely recipe!

    1. Me too Anuradha, actually 🙂

  5. Awesome recipe…loved it..will surely try it soon..☺

    1. Thanx a lott Anshu 🙂

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