Dal Tadka is a hearty lentil curry flavored with fried cumin seeds & red chillies. Without tadka (tempering) this dal can be devoured as a hot lentil soup on a cold winter night.
Dal tadka goes well with jeera rice (or any pulao) and Indian bread. I like to serve a mildly spiced dal tadka and a spicy curry as accompaniments for rice & roti. If I make dal alone as a side, I would like to add more spices and make it spicier (please refer “Tweaks” section at the end).
Now the recipe for mildly spiced dal tadka :
Time Taken: 30 min
Yields : 2 cups (400 ml)
- Greengram lentil (paasi paruppu or moong dal) – ½ cup
- Onion – 1 No.
- Tomato – 1 No.
- Ginger – 1 piece (½ inch)
- Red chiili powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Garam masala – ¼ tsp
- Ghee – ½ tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Water for pressure cooking – 1 cup
- Hot water to make cooked dal tenuous – ½ cup
For tempering (tadka) :
- Any neutral oil (or ghee) – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Red chillies – 2 No.
- Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
- Water to mix with red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Cooking Method :
- Wash lentil and pour water required for pressure cooking.
- Add chopped onion, tomato & ginger, red chilli powder, turmeric powder & salt.
- Pressure cook lentil mixture (simmer for 10 minutes after bringing to high pressure).
- Transfer the cooked dal to a cooking pan.
- Mash lentil with the back of a ladle.
- Now heat the pan in medium flame and add garam masala.
- Pour hot water into dal and bring it to a boil.
- Pour ghee into the boiling dal, mix well and remove from heat.
- Prepare a red chilli solution by mixing red chilli powder (¼ tsp) in water (1 tsp) and keep aside.
- Heat a small pan with oil for tempering.
- Add cumin seeds, red chillies & fry for 10 sec in low flame.
- Pour red chilli solution and fry for 5 sec.
- Remove tadka from heat and pour into hot lentil.
- Serve hot with rice and/or roti.
- You may use thuvaram paruppu (toor dal/ red gram) or masoor dal (red lentil) instead of green gram lentil.
- If you want to make spicier dal, you may add chopped green chillies and/or garlic while pressure cooking lentil mixture.
- To enhance the flavor you may add chopped coriander leaves or crushed kasuri methi leaves along with garam masala.
- Red chillies are used in tadka only for its flavor, so no need to break them into pieces while tempering.