Dal Tadka


Dal Tadka is a  staple dish in several Indian households and generally eaten with pipping hot rice or rotis. Traditionally its made with yellow lentils or combination of lentils and tempered with simple spices. This is the most simplest form of dal fry and is quite easy to prepare. Sometimes simplest dishes like these make a great meal by itself. In my recipe here, I’ve used combination of lentils (Toor And Moong dal) and kicked up a notch by adding some fenugreek leaves to make it much healthier.  That’s purely optional and you may skip if you wish.

Dal fry / Methi Dal  Fry / Methi Dal Tadka/ Tadka Dhal / Simple Dal Fry / Punjabi Dal / Tarka / Paruppu Sadham / Talimpu / Paruppu Thalippu / Dhal Fry



1/2 cup Split red lentils (Thuvaram / Toor )
1/2 Cup Split yellow lentils (Pachai Paruppu / Moong )
2 tbsp Onion (minced)
1 tbsp Tomatoes (Chopped)
1 tsp Garlic (minced)
1 tsp Ginger (minced)
2 nos Green Chillies (Long split open)
1 tbsp Fenugreek leaves (chopped) Fresh or frozen(optional)
3 stalks Coriander leaves (chopped)
5 nos Curry leaves
1 tbsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp Red chilli powder (adjust according to your taste)
1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp Asafoetida powder
1/2 cup Water



You may use any kind or combination of lentils for this recipe.  I’ve used Toor and Moong lentils which needs to soaked for about 20 minutes. Pressure cook upto 2 whistles and keep aside.

Assemble all that you, finely mince onions, garlic and ginger. Split open the green chillies.

Heat up a pan and melt the ghee. Splutter mustard, cumin and curry leaves. Add the asafoetida powder and saute the onions, green chilli, ginger and garlic. Once that turns golden add the chopped tomatoes along with fenugreek leaves, turmeric, red chili powder and salt. Saute for few minutes and switch off.

Add this mixture (Tadka) to the pressure cooked dal.

Mix well and add about 1/2 cup water. Simmer for few minutes and switch. Pressure cooked dal might look thick, so water is added to adjust it to semi-thick consistency.

serving style and combination varies from region to region. Mostly this dal is eaten with rice topped with ghee or with fresh rotis. My favorite combinations are

On a vegetarian day :  Pipping hot basmati rice topped with ghee and  Potato Varuval on the side

On a non-vegetarian day: Basmati rice topped with ghee and  Fish fry / Shrimp fry on the side.



Yield: 4 Adult servings.

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January 2015
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