dal tadka recipe, how to make dal tadka recipe restaurant style

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dal tadka recipe

dal tadka recipe restaurant style - smooth and creamy dal tempered with indian spices with a smoky charcoal flavor.

4.64 from 100 votes
total time:
30minutes

dal tadka restaurant style recipe with step by step photos. dal tadka is one of the most popular dal recipe served in indian restaurants. basically, dal tadka are cooked lentils which are lastly tempered with oil or ghee fried spices & herbs.

dal tadka recipe, dal tadka

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.

tadka or chaunk is the hindi word for tempering. in this technique the spices & herbs 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 more popular dal recipes are:

this dal tadka recipe is north indian style than south indian style. you can make the dal tadka with any yellow dal (split lentils). i make the dal tadka sometimes with with arhar dal (split pigeon pea lentils) and masoor dal (split pink lentils) and sometimes only with arhar dal.

dal tadka restaurant style recipe

the dal tadka 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 flavor and aroma to the dal. the plain cooked creamy yellow dal gets paired beautifully with steamed rice or jeera rice (cumin flavored pilaf). i have added tomatoes to the dal tadka but you can skip adding tomatoes. for tempering you can add ghee instead of oil. i have used sunflower oil.

the dal tadka can be served with rotis and chapatis and steamed basmati rice or jeera rice. at times i flavor the dal tadka with a smoky burnt aroma of blazing charcoal. in the step by step pics below, i have illustrated this method as i have got a few comments and requests for this technique. this method is called the dhungar in hindi. you can easily skip this method, if you don’t have charcoal.

few more restaurant style recipes on blog are:

dal tadka recipe

4.64 from 100 votes
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
Total Time:30 mins
dal tadka recipe restaurant style - smooth and creamy dal tempered with indian spices with a smoky charcoal flavor.
dal tadka recipe
Course:main course
Cuisine:north indian
Servings:4 to 5
Author:dassana

INGREDIENTS FOR dal tadka recipe

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

for making dal

  • 1 cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or split pigeon pea lentils) OR ½ cup arhar dal + ½ cup masoor dal (split pink lentils)
  • 1 or 2 green chilies - chopped or slit lengthwise (hari mirch)
  • 1 medium sized onion - chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomato - chopped
  • ½ inch ginger - finely chopped or grated OR about ⅓ to ½ teaspoon of grated or chopped ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 to 2 pinch garam masala powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon cream (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
  • salt as required

for tempering or tadka in the dal

  • 2 tablespoon oil OR 1.5 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves (lahsun) - finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)

for garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)

for dhungar method

  • a small piece of charcoal
  • ¼ teaspoon ghee or oil

HOW TO MAKE dal tadka recipe

preparation for dal tadka

  • rinse the lentils and add them to the pressure cooker. the below pic shows only tuvar or arhar dal. you can also cook the lentils in a pot. just soak the lentils for an hour or two before you cook them in a pot. cooking the lentils in a pot, will take more time than cooking in the pressure cooker. method on how to cook lentils in a pot is mentioned in the notes section of recipe details below
  • to the lentils, add chopped onions, tomato, green chilies, ginger.
  • pour 2.5 cups water. if cooking in a pot, then about 4 to 4.5 cups water can be added.
  • add turmeric powder and asafoetida. stir well.
  • pressure cook the lentils for about 7 to 8 whistles or more till they become soft and creamy. mash the dal with a wired whisk or with a spoon and keep aside. if the dal looks thick, then add some water to get a medium consistency. simmer the dal for 3 to 4 minutes. pic of the consistency of the lentils in step 6
  • once the desired consistency is reached, add cream (optional), garam masala powder, crushed kasuri methi, chopped coriander leaves and salt. switch off the fire. please note crushed kasuri methi can also be added in the tempering later and skipped at this step.
  • mix well so that everything combines uniformly. check salt before you add the tempering. if less than add more salt.

dhungar method (optional) for dal tadka

  • next is the dhungar method of flavoring the dal with the smoky fumes of burnt charocal. for this with the help of tongs or on a grill pan like shown in the pic below, place the a small piece of charcoal. burn the charcoal till it becomes red hot. please use natural charcoal for this method.note that this is an optional step and you can proceed directly to the tempering method.
  • place the red hot charcoal in a small steel bowl.
  • pour about 1/4 tsp of oil or ghee on the charcoal. you will see fumes emanating as soon as you pour oil or ghee on the hot charcoal.
  • place this bowl on the dal.
  • cover the cooker or the pot with a lid and let the dal get infused with the charcoal smoke. just keep for 1 to 2 minutes. the more you keep. the more smoky the dal will become. remove the bowl carefully with the helps of tongs and cover the dal. keep aside.

making the tempering (tadka or chaunk) for dal tadka

  • next heat oil or ghee or butter in a small pan. first add cumin seeds and crackle 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 and the red chilies change color.
  • lastly add kasuri methi (add kasuri methi, if you have not added before to the dal) and red chili powder. stir and switch off the stove. make sure to fry the tempering ingredients at a low flame, so that you don't burn them.
  • pour the entire tempering along with the oil/ghee into the dal.
  • you can mix the dal or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top it. garnish dal tadka with coriander leaves. serve dal tadka hot with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice or with rotis or phulkas.

RECIPE TIPS

suggestions for making dal tadka

1. instead of oil you can temper the dal with ghee/clarified butter.
2. the dal tadka consistency is neither thick nor thin but medium. but if you prefer you can go for a slightly thick or thin dal consistency.
3. you can also soak the dal for 30 to 40 minutes before cooking them.
for cooking the dal or lentils in a pot
  1. soak the lentils for about 1 to 2 hours. drain and rinse then well in water.
  2. in a deep pot, add 4 to 5 cups water added to the lentils. add the rest of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe.
  3. cover and cook the lentils. if the water begins to froth and bubble, then remove the lid or cover it partly and continue to cook the lentils till they become soft and creamy.
  4. if the water becomes less, then add some hot water.
  5. once the lentils are cooked (takes from 45 mins to an hour or sometimes more… depends on the quality of the lentils). then follow the recipe further.
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TRENDING RECIPE

how to make dal tadka recipe

1. rinse the lentils and add them to the pressure cooker. the below pic shows only tuvar or arhar dal. you can also cook the lentils in a pot. just soak the lentils for an hour or two before you cook them in a pot. cooking the lentils in a pot, will take more time than cooking in the pressure cooker. method on how to cook lentils in a pot is mentioned in the notes section of recipe details below.

making dal tadka recipe

2. to the lentils, add chopped onions, tomato, green chilies, ginger.

making dal tadka recipe

3. pour 2.5 cups water. if cooking in a pot, then about 4 to 4.5 cups water can be added.

making dal tadka recipe

4. add turmeric powder/haldi and asafoetida/hing.

making restaurant style dal tadka recipe

5. stir well.

preparing dal tadka recipe restaurant style

6. pressure cook the lentils for about 7 to 8 whistles or more till they become soft and creamy. mash the dal with a wired whisk or with a spoon and keep aside. if the dal looks thick, then add some water. about ½ cup to 1 cup water (depending on the thickness of the dal) to get a medium consistency. simmer the dal for 3 to 4 minutes. consistency of the lentils in the below pic.

preparing dal tadka recipe

7. once the desired consistency is reached, add cream (optional), garam masala powder, crushed kasuri methi, chopped coriander leaves and salt. switch off the fire. please note crushed kasuri methi can also be added in the tempering later and skipped at this step.

preparing dal tadka recipe

8. mix well so that everything combines uniformly. check salt before you add the tempering. if less than add more salt.

preparing dal tadka recipe

9. the final consistency of the dal.

preparing restaurant style dal tadka recipe

optional – dhungar method for dal tadka

10. next is the dhungar method of flavoring the dal tadka with the smoky fumes of burnt charocal. for this with the help of tongs or on a grill pan like shown in the pic below, place a small piece of charcoal. burn the charcoal till it becomes red hot. please use natural charcoal for this method. note that this is an optional step and you can proceed directly to the tempering method.

preparing dal tadka recipe

11. place the red hot charcoal in a small steel bowl. you can also use onion layers or a halved hollow onion for the same.

preparing dal tadka recipe

12. pour about ¼ tsp of oil or ghee on the charcoal. you will see fumes emanating as soon as you pour oil or ghee on the hot charcoal.

preparing dal tadka recipe

13. place this bowl on the dal.

preparing restaurant style dal tadka recipe

14. cover the cooker or the pot with a lid and let the dal get infused with the charcoal smoke. just keep for 1 to 2 minutes. the more you keep. the more smoky the dal will become. remove the bowl carefully with the helps of tongs and cover the dal. keep aside.

preparing restaurant style dal tadka recipe

making tempering for dal tadka

15. next heat oil or ghee or butter in a small pan. first add cumin seeds and crackle them. the cumin should get fried and not be raw, but don’t burn them.

making tadka dal recipe, dal tadka

16. now add red chilies, asafoetida and chopped garlic. let the garlic brown and the red chilies change color.

making tadka dal recipe

17. lastly add kasuri methi (add kasuri methi, if you have not added them before to the dal) and red chili powder. stir and switch off the stove. make sure to fry the tempering ingredients at a low flame, so that you don’t burn them.

making tadka dal recipe

18. pour the entire tempering along with the oil/ghee into the dal.

tadka dal recipe, dal tadka

19. you can mix the dal or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top it. garnish dal tadka with coriander leaves. serve dal tadka hot with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice or with rotis or phulkas.

restaurant style dal tadka recipe, dal tadka recipe

namaste, i am dassana

dassana
Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer || MORE ABOUT US

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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359 comments/reviews

  1. It turn out to be wonderful always a big fan of Amit ji😍

  2. Super easy and came out brilliant. Thank you

    • Welcome Sanjay

  3. Could you substitute the jeera with nigella in the tadka step?

    • you can. but nigella seeds will give a different flavor.

  4. Hi there,

    First of all, thank you very much for sharing this great recipe. Definitely this is my to go recipe whenever I make dhal curry. However, I’m quite clueless on what meat curry (wet or dry) that goes well with this dal tadka dish. I would really appreciate it if you could suggest few meat dishes to pair with this great dish. Thanks again.

    • thanks and welcome jeanne. even i am clueless and i do not have any idea which meat curry will go with dal tadka. so i am fraid i really cannot help you.

  5. Hi there, I tried this recipe and it was great! I am cooking for some friends who don’t eat ghee, would mustard oil be ok to use or should I use sunflower oil? Thanks,

    • thanks jarrad. use sunflower oil or any neutral tasting oil.

  6. The Dal tasted fantastic, and I m certainly going to learn recipes from your website.

    • thanks nagaraju

  7. My wife is away and I tried this recipe. Thank you so much, the dal came out to be really good. Better than some of the good restaurants and Dhaba’s. Will surely surprise my wife with this once she’s back. thank you.

    • Welcome Ravi. Glad to know that you liked this dal tadka recipe so much. I am sure your wife will enjoy the dal cooked by you.

  8. Hi dassana,
    Some day, please post a recipe for gatte ki curry. It’s a Rajasthani curry prepared using besan rolls. I tried some recipes available online but it wasn’t successful. Making gatte seems to be a little tricky. Sometimes they turn out really dense & hard. Other way round,they might get dissolved while boiling itself.
    Looking forward to a tried & tested recipe of yours with the specific tips/inputs that you share in the write up. Thanks.

    • yes ruchi, will add. we make a punjabi version of gatte ki kadhi. so i will share this recipe in some time and then later share the rajasthani version. i know cooking the besan gatte can be tricky.

  9. You are a life saver! With your blog, it’s become so easy to put delicious food on table. Be it everyday recipes or occasional bakery goodies….you rock!! Thanks for putting up the blog. Keep writing!

    • Welcome Tina. Thanks for this awesome feedback on recipes and for the blog.

  10. Amazing recipe! I followed everything as the recipe said except I used coconut cream instead of regular cream and I used ghee instead of oil. It turned out so good. I have been looking for a good recipe for a long time and I finally found one!

    I have a couple questions. My pressure cooker doesn’t whistle. How long should I cook the dal, and should it be on high heat the whole time (steam coming out) or should I reduce heat so no steam is coming out?

    Also, what kind of coal do you use? I went around my city today to find some but couldn’t. Is it the same as a barbecue charcoal?

    Thanks so much for all your amazing recipes!

    • thank you emm for this lovely feedback. you can cook dal for about 8 to 10 minutes. cooking time varies with the quality of dal. cook on medium heat. the steam will come out. no need to reduce the flame.

      i have used wood charcoal. you can use barbecue charcoal also. hope this helps and welcome.

  11. Oh no I am disappointed to hear about the removal of App from iOS. I always refer to this app for cooking. I have tried almost every varieties of recipe and it has come out to be perfect like restaurant style cooking.

    • Falguni, You can check the recipes in the website. We could not manage the app, so we had to delete it. I am sure you will equally like the website as well.

  12. I am glad that I followed your recipe ! Turned out to an awesome dal tadka 👍🏼

    • Thanks Deepika for your positive feedback.

  13. Hi…..m Vaishali…I hv always follow ur recipes …and it was awessm. .yesterday I hv made ur dal tadka recipe…nd it was same like restaurant type…we all liked it very much….Thank you for the wonderful recipe

    • Welcome Vaishali. Glad to know this. Thanks for sharing your positive feedback on dal tadka recipe.

  14. Awesome, had it with chapattis’. infact nice with anything.
    Thanks a ton

    • Welcome Suma

  15. Hi dear i tried dal today it very easy, time saving, and super tasty. All liked it really thanks for sharing it.😊 so happy to find your blog.

    • Welcome Anamika. Glad to know that you like the dal tadka recipe and the blog.

  16. Dal is heartsome recipe …light sambar..But charcoal is an additional part quite different.

    • yes charcoal method gives a smoky flavor to the dal. thanks.

  17. 10 years of cooking and finally the best dal I’ve ever made. In love with his recipe! Hubby and friends loved it. Thank you and God bless!

    • Welcome Deeps. Glad to know that everyone liked the dal tadka. Thanks for your best wishes.

  18. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. My dal turned out beautiful and tasted divine with white rice , fried fish and kachumber. Thank youuuu

    • thanks arafa for this feedback. glad to know that you liked the dal tadka recipe.

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