dal tadka is cooked lentils tempered with oil or ghee fried spices along with the oil.
i have to admit that i simply love the dal tadka that is served at the restaurants even though we hardly eat out. so i try to recreate the restaurant magic in most of the food that i make at home. like today for example i made methi mushroom much like the famous methi murgh and it was wow.
tadka or chaunk is the hindi word for tempering. in this technique the spices are fried in oil, thereby the spices release essential oils & thus changes the flavor, aroma and taste remarkably of the final dish in which the tempering is added.
tempering is very much a part of cooking indian food. in fact we temper almost everything like dal, veggies dishes, chutneys.
dal is a staple in indian food. india has so many varieties of dal recipes. each region, each state having their own delicious recipes. few of the famous dal recipes are dal makhani, dal fry, masoor dal, and chana dal.
this dal tadka is north indian style than south indian style. you can make the dal tadka with any yellow dal (split lentils). i have made it with arhar dal (split pigeon pea lentils) and masoor dal (split pink lentils).
the preparation is easy. first make the dal and then lastly temper it just before serving. you can also make the dal ready and keep in the fridge. before serving heat the dal and then just temper it. serve immediately.
the tempering adds a lot of oomph factor to the dal. the plain cooked creamy yellow dal gets transformed into an aromatic & beautiful dal.
i have added tomatoes to the dal but you can skip adding tomatoes.
for tempering you can add ghee instead of oil. i have used sunflower oil.
lastly you can also add some cream to the dal or garnish the dal with some cream.
the dal tadka can be served with rotis, chapatis and steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.
the only thing missing in this tadke wali dal is the aroma of burnt charcoal. now if only i could get my hands on some charcoal to infuse the smoky charcoal flavor into the dal
this yellow dal recipe is for taste of yellow event started by barbara harris, who was a food blogger and wrote on her blog winos and foodies. she recently lost her long battle with cancer on june 29th.
i did not know barbara or her blog. i missed an opportunity to know such a wonderful woman. barbara was a strong woman and she created the taste of yellow event to raise awareness about cancer. this month meeta’s monthly mingle is honoring barbara and is being hosted by jeanne of cook sister.
restaurant style dal tadka recipe details below:
- ½ cup tuvar dal/ split pigeon pea lentils
- ½ cup masoor dal/split pink lentils
- 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped or slit lengthwise
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 1 medium size tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp grated or chopped ginger (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- a pinch or two of garam masala powder (optional)
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
- 1 or 2 tbsp cream (optional)
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- salt as required
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 2-3 red chilies
- a generous pinch of hing
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp cream (optional)
- first pick and rinse the dals.
- add chopped onions, tomato, green chilies, ginger, asafoetida & turmeric powder along with the dals in a pressure cooker.
- add salt and two cups water.
- mix well and pressure cook the dals for 4-5 whistles or till done.
- once well cooked then beat the dal with a churner or a wooden spoon till well mashed and creamy.
- now here you decide the consistency of the dal before you add the tempering.
- generally this type of dal is neither thick nor thin but has a medium consistency.
- the dal will be creamy but a little thick after pressure cooking with 2 cups of water.
- so add some water to get the desired consistency and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- once the desired consistency is reached, you can add cream (optional), garam masala powder, crushed kasuri methi & chopped coriander leaves and switch off the fire.
- mix well.
- check salt before we add the tempering. if less than add more salt.
- cover the dal with a lid.
- begun to prepare the tempering/tadka.
- heat oil in a pan.
- add cumin and fry them.
- the cumin should get fried and not be raw but don’t burn them.
- now add red chilies, asafoetida and chopped garlic.
- let the garlic brown.
- once the garlic gets browned pour the entire tempering along with the oil into the dal.
- you can mix the dal or serve the dal with the tempering on top it.
- garnish with coriander leaves.
- have this fantastic tadka dal with some steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.
instead of oil you can temper the dal with ghee/clarified butter.
the dal consistency is neither thick nor thin but medium. but if you prefer you can go for a slightly thick or thin dal consistency.
you can also soak the dal for 30 to 40 minutes before cooking them.
if you don’t have a pressure cooker than cook the dal in a pot with enough water added to the dal. in this case better to soak the dal so that the cooking is faster.