Dal Tadka


  • ½ cup arhar dal/tuvar dal/ split pigeon pea lentils + ½ cup masoor dal/split pink lentils or 1 cup arhar dal/tuvar dal/ split pigeon pea lentils
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped or slit lengthwise
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, finely chopped or grated, about ⅓ to ½ tsp of grated or chopped ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • a pinch or two of garam masala powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 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 or 1.5 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves/lahsun, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 red chilies
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • ½ tsp red chili powder


  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta


Preparing the lentils:

  1. Rinse the lentils and add them to the pressure cooker.
  2. Add chopped onions, tomato, green chilies, ginger to the cooker.
  3. Pour 2.5 cups water. if cooking in a pot, then about 4 to 4.5 cups water can be added.
  4. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida. stir well.
  5. 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.
  6. Simmer the dal for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Once the desired consistency is reached, add cream (optional), garam masala powder, crushed kasuri methi, chopped coriander leaves and salt.
  8. Switch off the fire.
  9. Please note crushed kasuri methi can also be added in the tempering later and skipped at this step.
  10. Mix well so that everything combines uniformly. Check salt before you add the tempering.

Preparing the tempering/tadka/chaunk:

  1. Heat oil or ghee or butter in a small pan. Make sure to fry the tempering ingredients at a low flame, so that you don't burn them.
  2. First add cumin seeds and crackle them. The cumin should get fried and not be raw but don't burn them.
  3. Now add red chilies, asafoetida and chopped garlic. Let the garlic brown and the red chilies change color.
  4. Then add kasuri methi (add kasuri methi, if you have not added before to the dal) and red chili powder.
  5. Stir and switch off the stove.
  6. 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.


  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.



[[Instantpot]] [[Dals]] [[Indian recipes]]

Dal Tadka