Yellow Dal with Tadka

Yellow Dal Tadka by Chef Ankit

Dal someone can spell it Daal  is a term used in the Indian subcontinent for dried, split pulses that do not require pre-soaking. These pulses are the most common and  important staple foods in north Indian cuisine. 

Since childhood out of the numerous foods Dal Chawal is one of the most eaten foods in my family. In my career I have seen the most chefs always used to eat dal in their meals. You can say Dal tadka or Dal fry is one of the staple foods of the chef. And it is also my favorite.

The most common way of preparing dal is with onions, tomatoes, and various spices. Dal is generally eaten with flatbread rotis or chapatis, or with rice. Dal Tadka is the  combination of the dal that is used. The common dal is generally Toor Dal, Mung Dal, Chana Dal or even Masoor Dal can be used. This is cooked until disintegrating and mushy. A tadka of spices is made in a kadhai or pan , and the tomatoes and onions are added to the spices and sauteed until well cooked. This delicious mixture is added to the dal, mixed through and further simmered to incorporate the flavors.

Mix Dal

The aroma of dal tadka  can make your mouth watering from a distance. The herbs and spices like jeera, garlic, coriander leaves, turmeric, and desi ghee  used in the tempering can pamper any one . More than just the taste, it has the health benefits that it provides. The phyto-nutrients in turmeric, cumin have excellent medicinal properties. Lentil lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. A healthy protein for diabetes helps in regulating blood sugar levels and is good for all weight watchers.

Prep time : 10 mins

Cooking time : 30 mins

Level : easy 


  1. Arhar dal (Toor dal/pigeon pea lentils) – 1 cup
  2. Green moong chikha – 1/2 cup
  3. Moong dal wash – 1/2 cup
  4. Red masoor – 1/2 cup
  5. Green chilies (chopped) – 1 teaspoon
  6. Onion (chopped) – 2 tablespoon
  7. Tomato (chopped) – 3 tablespoon
  8. Garlic (chopped) – 1 tablespoon
  9. Ginger (chopped) – 1 tablespoon
  10. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  11. Cumin seed – 1/2  teaspoon
  12. Red chilly powder – 1 teaspoon
  13. Asafoetida – 1/2  teaspoon
  14. Desi ghee – 2 teaspoon
  15. Salt – to taste
  16. Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1 tablespoon
  17. Whole red chilli – 2 nos
  18. Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon


  1. Mix all the lentils and wash properly.  Drain the water and keep all the lentils in the pressure cooker. Add 4 cup water. Add salt , turmeric powder and red chilly powder. Add 1 tea spoon desi ghee. Heat.
  2. Cook the lentils for about 5 to 7 whistles or more till they become soft. Keep aside. You can also cook the dal in a patila (deep vessel/pan). 
  3. In a fry pan ,heat desi ghee ,add cumin seed and let it crackle, add whole red chilly. Be careful don’t burn it. Simmer the heat.
  4. Add asafoetida and chopped garlic. Cook garlic till brown colour, add onion and saute. Cook until the onion starts caramelization, add ginger and green chilly.
  5. Add chopped tomato and cook properly.
  6. Add cooked dal in the pan,  Stirring occasionally. (You can keep some tempering seperate for garnishing.)
  7. You can add some water if the consistency is thick. 
  8. Cook the dal for a few mins. Adjust the seasoning. Remove from heat.
  9. Finish the preparation of dal tadka with few drops of lemon juice.
  10. Serve the dal in a bowl. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  11. You can mix the dal or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top.