Dal Fry/Dal Tadka is a lentil dish tempered with oil/ghee, herbs, and spices and is one of India's most popular lentil dishes. Simple and amazingly flavorful, this goes well with Indian bread or white rice.
Dal tadka is one of the most straightforward dal /lentil recipes, and almost every North Indian home prepares it. Mostly, homemade dal fry/dal tadka tadka recipes are straightforward, with few spices. Homemade dal tadka also does not use much ghee and red chilies.
I was always puzzled after eating in restaurants regarding why our dal tadka didn't taste the same as theirs. My husband and I tried many times but could not achieve that taste. However, our perception of dal tadka changed during one of our vacations in India.
Once, we were so bored of eating the heavy food we ordered simple dal tadka along with several other dishes. When we tasted it that day, we were spellbound. It was just marvelous and beyond our imaginations. We licked our fingers and cleaned the plate.
We were so curious to know the secret of this heavenly-tasting dal we asked our chef about the secret. Then, we learned that restaurants use a double tadka method for this dal and that the second tadka makes all the difference. Many places use a dhungar method, but I know it's not practical at home.
Why Do I Love Dal Tadka?
It also involves very few ingredients from the pantry and fridge.
It's gluten-free, and not using ghee serves as an alternative to vegan food.
It is just absolutely delicious and filling.
What Ingredients are Used in Making Dal Tadka?
We use Toor dal/ split pigeon pea lentils, turmeric powder, and salt. Onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green chilies, cumin seeds, and ghee/oil make the first tadka/tempering. We will use the second tempering of ghee/oil, red chili powder, garlic cloves, and a garnish of lemon juice and fresh cilantro leaves.
What Can You Serve with Dal Tadka?
Indian bread and rice (primarily white rice) go well with this dal. You may also want to check out the following recipes.
You can drink it like soup too.
Dal Fry/Dal Tadka
For Making Dal
- 1 Cup Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Pea Lentil
- 3 Cup Water
- 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 Tsp Salt
Ingredients required for 1st tempering
- 2 Tbsp Ghee/Oil of your choice.
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 4-5 Cloves Garlic ,Minced
- 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Medium Chopped Onion
- 1 Medium Chopped Tomato
- ½ Tsp Garam Masala Powder
- ½ Tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Chopped Green Chilies (Optional)
- 1 Tsp Kasoori Methi(Optional)
Ingredients required foe second tempering
- 1 Tbsp Ghee/Oil of your choice
- 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 1 Dry red chilli
- ½ Tsp Red chilli Powder
- Pinch of Asafoetida(Optional)
- Lemon/Lime Wedges
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro
Boiling of Dal in Instant Pot
- Wash lentil properly and keep it aside.
- Cook it on high pressure for 4 minute with 3 cups of water ,1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tsp of salt .Let the steam release naturally after its done.
Boiling of Dal in a pan on the stove top
- A lot of my readers prefer making dal this way .I am sharing this method specially for them.
- After washing dal keep it aside.
- Cook it with 3 cups of water ,1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of turmeric.
- Keep the flame on high first and when it starts boiling slow it down .Cover it with a lid and let it cook for around 20 -25 minutes.
- Stir it in between and if you think it is sticking to the bottom ,stir it again it .If you think there is very less water in the pan and lentil feels dry ,add more. Cook it till its soft and mushy .
- Take a hand held whisker and whisk it to make a smooth lentil soup .Do not worry about its thickness or thinness.
How to do the first tempering
- Chop onion ,tomato ,green chillies ,ginger and garlic. Chop fresh cilantro as well.
- Take a pan .Add ghee/oil to it .Heat It.
- Add cumin seeds ,and chopped green chilies to it .Let them cook for 30 seconds.
- Add onion ,and garlic to it .Cook it for 1 -2 minute or till it looks translucent. Add ginger ,garam masala ,red chilli powder ,kasoori methi to it .Mix it well and cook it for 1 minutes. on low flame .
- Add chopped tomato to it .Mix it well with the onion spice mix.
- Add whisked dal to it .Stir it and let it cook for 2 minutes on low/medium flame .
- If its thick for your taste add some warm water to it .If its thin let it cook for 2-3 minutes till it reaches consistency of your liking.
- In a small pan add ghee/oil to it .
- Add minced garlic and asafoetida to it .When it looks light brown add red chilli powder and immediately pour the tempering over the dal. Taste the dal if it needs some salt add it now .
- Sprinkle some lime juice and garnish with cilantro.
- You dal tadka is ready .
- Serve it with white rice or some bread.
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