Homemade Dal Tadka Recipe

Dal Tadka Dal Tadka: Indulge in the delightful flavors of restaurant-style Dal Tadka, a luscious lentil dish featuring pigeon pea lentils, onions, tomatoes, and an array of aromatic spices, all infused with a tantalizing smoky essence. Perfectly complemented by fluffy basmati rice or your favorite bread, whether it's roti or naan.

Dal Tadka

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Cuisine: North Indian

Course: Main Course

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Difficulty Level: Easy


For Cooking Lentils:

  • 1 cup tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils), or 200 grams, or a mix of ½ cup tuvar dal + ½ cup masoor dal (split pink lentils)
  • 1 to 2 green chilies, chopped or slit lengthwise
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, or 1-inch piece peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons low-fat cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering (Tadka):

  • 3 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 to 6 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies
  • A generous pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi 
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder

Also Read: Raj Kachori

For Garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

For Dhungar Method (Optional):

  • A small piece of charcoal
  • ¼ teaspoon oil or ghee (clarified butter)


Cook Lentils:

  1. Rinse the tuvar dal thoroughly and add it to a 3-litre pressure cooker.
  2. Add chopped onions, finely chopped tomatoes, green chilies, and chopped ginger.
  3. Pour water into the pressure cooker.
  4. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix well.
  5. Pressure cook the lentils until soft and creamy.
  6. Mash the cooked lentils and adjust the consistency with water if needed. Simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Add low-fat cream, garam masala, chopped coriander leaves, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  8. Smoke Lentils using Dhungar Method (Optional):
  9. Place a small piece of charcoal on a grill pan until it becomes red hot.
  10. Put the charcoal in a small steel bowl and pour oil or ghee over it.
  11. Place the bowl on the dal and cover the cooker or pot. Smoke for 1-2 minutes.
  12. Remove the bowl carefully and cover the cooker.

Make the Tempering (Tadka):

  1. Heat ghee in a small pan and add cumin seeds. Fry until they crackle.
  2. Add dry red chilies, asafoetida, and finely chopped garlic. Let the garlic brown lightly.
  3. Add crushed kasuri methi and red chili powder. Mix well and turn off the stove.
  4. Pour the tempering into the dal.

Also Read: Porridge

Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with steamed basmati rice or bread of your choice.


  • You can use any yellow dal for this recipe.
  • Soaking lentils before cooking is optional but recommended.
  • If you don't have tomatoes, you can add lemon juice for tanginess.
  • You can use ghee or any neutral-flavored oil for tempering.
  • You can skip the charcoal smoking method if desired.
  • Adjust the consistency of the dal as per your preference.
  • Cooking lentils in a pot may take longer, ensure they are cooked until soft and creamy.

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