Dal tadka

Dal tadka


Dal tadka, also known as dal fry, is a classic Indian lentil dish that is both hearty and flavourful. It is made with split pigeon peas (toor dal), which are cooked in a flavourful gravy with spices and tempering. Dal tadka is a staple in many Indian households and is often served with roti, rice, or naan.


  • 1 cup Malawi Toor Dal Oily (split pigeon peas)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chili, halved
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 green chili, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala


  1. Rinse the toor dal in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the toor dal, water, turmeric powder, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the dal is tender.
  3. While the dal is cooking, heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until they crackle and pop.
  4. Add the dried red chili, onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the green chili (if using) and garam masala and cook for a minute more.
  6. Pour the tadka over the dal and stir to combine.
  7. Serve hot with roti, rice, or naan.


  • For a richer flavour, you can use whole spices instead of ground spices. Toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric powder, and red chili powder in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, then grind them together.
  • If you don't have fresh green chilies, you can use a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • This recipe is also great with other vegetables, such as carrots, peas, or zucchini. Just add them to the tadka with the onion and cook until tender.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve Dal Tadka with roti, rice, or naan.
  • For a more flavourful dish, add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream to each serving.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro or chopped green onions.


  • For a spicier dish, add more green chilies or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • For a sweeter dish, add a tablespoon of sugar or a dollop of honey.
  • If you don't have ghee, you can use vegetable oil.
  • If you don't have a dried red chili, you can use a pinch of paprika.

Tips for Serving:

  • Serve Dal Tadka hot, as it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • If you want to make the dish ahead of time, you can cook the dal and tadka mixture and then reheat it before serving.
  • Reheat the dal and tadka mixture in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • You can also reheat the dish in a microwave-safe dish, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

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