Urad Dal Tadka

Urad Dal Tadka

Urad dal tadka is a simple and flavourful Indian lentil curry that is made with urad dal, a type of lentil that is known for its creamy texture and nutty flavour. The curry is typically cooked with a variety of spices, including cumin, turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala. It is often served with roti, rice, or bread.


  • 1 cup urad dal split with skin (black lentils)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 green chili, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro


  1. Rinse the urad dal thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Soak the urad dal in 2 cups of water for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  2. Drain the soaked urad dal and transfer it to a pressure cooker along with the remaining 2 cups of water, salt, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chili powder, and hing.
  3. Close the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until 2 whistles have been sounded. If you are using an Instant Pot, set the timer for 30 minutes on high pressure.
  4. Once the pressure has subsided, open the pressure cooker and fluff the dal with a fork.
  5. Heat the ghee or vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Once they start to sputter, add the green chili, if using, and ginger.
  6. Sauté for a minute, then add the chopped cilantro and pour the tadka over the prepared dal.
  7. Stir well to combine the tadka with the dal. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  8. Serve hot with rice, roti, or naan.


  • Soaking the dal in water before cooking will help to reduce the cooking time and make the dal more digestible.
  • You can also use a large pot instead of a pressure cooker to cook the dal. Simply bring the dal to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the dal is tender.
  • If you don't have ghee or vegetable oil, you can use another type of oil, such as sunflower oil or canola oil.
  • For a spicier tadka, add more red chili powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • If you don't have fresh cilantro, you can use dried cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve Urad Dal Tadka with rice, roti, 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 richer flavour, add a tablespoon of grated coconut to the tadka.
  • For a heartier dish, add chopped vegetables, such as carrots, peas, or zucchini, to the dal before cooking.
  • If you don't have hing, you can omit it from the recipe. However, hing adds a unique flavour to the tadka that is difficult to replicate with other spices.

Tips for Serving:

  • Serve Urad 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 then reheat it before serving.
  • Reheat the dal 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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