Dal Tadka. Lentils tempered with spices.
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Dal Tadka

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 118
Author: Vaishali


  • 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


  • 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.
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil.
  • Add the mustard seeds, red chillies and asafetida.
  • When the mustard seeds crackle and sputter, add the garlic and stir-fry until the garlic browns. Don't let it burn-- stir constantly.
  • Add the tomato and cook for a few minutes or until the tomato breaks down.
  • 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.
  • Bring the lentils to a boil and let them cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the sugar and salt and aamchur and stir to mix.
  • Add the coriander leaves, mix well, and turn off the heat.
  • Serve hot with rice or parathas or roti.


Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.9g | Protein: 7.4g | Fat: 1.5g | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 2.1g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg