Dal Tadka. Lentils tempered with spices.
Dal Tadka
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
A warm, comforting Dal Tadka, or lentils with a tempering of spices that's perfect food as the weather cools down. This is a creamy, comforting dish with the warmth of garlic and spices and the pleasant tanginess of tomatoes.
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 118 kcal
Author: Vaishali Honawar
  • 1/2 cup tuvar dal, or split pigeon peas
  • 1/2 cup masoor dal, or pink lentils
  • 1/2 cup moong dal, or mung lentils
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida or hing (optional)
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste or finely minced
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp aamchur or mango powder (this adds a special flavor, but if you absolutely don't have it, use 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves minced
  1. Combine, wash and cook the lentils with the turmeric, preferably in a pressure cooker. If cooking on a stovetop, cover with an inch of water, bring to a boil, slap on a lid, keep on the lowest setting for the lentils to just simmer, and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the lentils are really soft and easily mushed up. Add more water during the cooking if necessary.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil.
  3. Add the mustard seeds, red chillies and asafetida.
  4. When the mustard seeds crackle and sputter, add the garlic and stir-fry until the garlic browns. Don't let it burn-- stir constantly.
  5. Add the tomato and cook for a few minutes or until the tomato breaks down.
  6. Add the lentils and water, if needed. You want the dal to be runny but not too watery. This is a matter of personal preference, though, so if you like your dals thick, feel free to use less water. Keep in mind that dals do thicken on standing.
  7. Bring the lentils to a boil and let them cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add the sugar and salt and aamchur and stir to mix.
  9. Add the coriander leaves, mix well, and turn off the heat.
  10. Serve hot with rice or parathas or roti.
Nutrition Facts
Dal Tadka
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 14
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.5g 2%
Potassium 186mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 19.9g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3.3g 13%
Sugars 2.1g
Protein 7.4g 15%
Calcium 2%
Iron 11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.