Dal tadka. Spicy, healthy and comforting, this simple lentil curry is packed with so much flavor, and it’s all about humble dal tempered with aromatic spices. The two step tempering process definitely makes this recipe so unique and delicious. Serve with roti or over rice for a complete meal that the whole family will love.
Fact: Every Indian household has its own favorite version of this dal curry. From far north to down south, the basic ingredient and cooking technique remains the same though.
Fascinated by the popularity of such a humble dish, I really want to share with you the restaurant version of dal tadka (dal=lentils, tadka= tempering). To be exact, this dal curry features a two-step tempering process for maximum flavor.
Well, as I mentioned, this curry is made with simple ingredients – lentils, few spices and herbs. These impart the spicy, rich and comforting flavors to the curry. Lentils are the key ingredients in this recipe, precisely, tuvar (toor) dal or yellow split pigeon peas. Ideally, the lentils need to be soaked prior to cooking. Then they’re cooked in a pressure cooker until mushy.
If you don’t want to use a pressure cooker, the best way to make this dal tadka is using masoor dal or red lentils. As you know, they cook super quick in a pot over the stovetop.
Once the lentils are ready, we’ll make the first tadka or tempering. Start with heating a little ghee or even oil, splutter mustard seeds, and brown some onions alongside ginger and green chilies. Next up, quickly stir fry a few dried spices like ground coriander, dried red chilies and asafetida. For added flavor, we’ll also add in some coriander (cilantro) leaves and crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves). Add in tomatoes and simmer until thick.
Now, the final tadka or tempering of dal tadka. Just heat up a little ghee, and fry garlic cloves, red chilies and red chili powder. Add this to the dal. And done.
The unique taste of this dal fry is totally lip-smacking. Clearly, this curry is a great example of super simple ingredients creating amazingly flavorful dish.
More lentil recipes:
- Dal Palak (Lentils Spinach Curry)
- Moong Dal Ladoo
- Moong Dal Pudding (Parippu Payasam)
- Parippu Vada (Lentil Cakes)
- Sambar (Lentil and Mixed Veggies Curry)
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The Thus says
This one is a favorite in our house. We have it often.