Dal Tadka

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.

IMG_9272Dal 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 :

IMG_9271Time Taken: 30 min

Yields : 2 cups (400 ml)


  1. Greengram lentil (paasi paruppu or moong dal) – ½ cup
  2. Onion – 1 No.
  3. Tomato – 1 No.
  4. Ginger – 1 piece (½ inch)
  5. Red chiili powder – 1 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  7. Garam masala – ¼ tsp
  8. Ghee – ½ tsp
  9. Salt – ½ tsp
  10. Water for pressure cooking – 1 cup
  11. Hot water to make cooked dal tenuous – ½ cup


For tempering (tadka) :

  1. Any neutral oil (or ghee) – 1 tsp
  2. Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Red chillies – 2 No.
  4. Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
  5. 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.



  1. You may use thuvaram paruppu (toor dal/ red gram) or masoor dal (red lentil) instead of green gram lentil.
  2. If you want to make spicier dal, you may add chopped green chillies and/or garlic while pressure cooking lentil mixture.
  3. To enhance the flavor you may add chopped coriander leaves or crushed kasuri methi leaves along with garam masala.
  4. Red chillies are used in tadka only for its flavor, so no need to break them into pieces while tempering.

57 Comments Add yours

  1. shalini says:

    Loved this dal tadka… I haven’t cooked it like this ever. Will note down your recipe

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

  2. ❤Sakshi❤ says:

    Love India and Indian food.. ❤

    1. Megala says:

      Sounds great !

      1. ❤Sakshi❤ says:

        ✌. ❤.✌

  3. orlando788 says:

    I love a good dal tadka! and this looks so scrumptious!

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks for your kind appreciation !

  4. This is a sure help, Megala. Thank you! This seems quick and easy too.

    1. Megala says:

      Glad you find it useful, thanks !!

  5. InspiresN says:

    learnt a new way of tadka with red chilli water ! very interesting and looks awesome!

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks !

  6. Simple, wholesome and tasty recipe! Thanks for the tweaks !

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

Please share your thoughts here: