Dal Tadka Recipe

Dal Tadka

Dal Tadka is an authentic Indian Dal Recipe, cooked with a traditional combination of Tur dal, Moong dal and Chana dal. Tadka Dal is a North Indian dal recipe and one of my favorite Dhaba style food item. Tadka means tempering of various flavorful and smoky ingredients in this dal. I generally cook this dal at home and serve with Vegetable Pulao. If you do not have all three types of lentils on hand, then you can use just tur dal or any two lentils like chana dal and yellow moong dal.

Sometime I use ghee for its tempering, it gives a rustic flavor to my dal.  You can use oil for a vegan version which will also taste just as good. Authentic Dal Tadka recipe must be tempered with good amount of chopped garlic and cumin seeds.

One of the fantastic serving combination of this Dal Tadka is hot Indian Chapati and Vegetable Pulao or Jeera Rice. This restaurant style dal tadka recipe is extremely easy in making at home.

There are lot of my warm childhood memories associated with Dhaba style food that has all its smoky flavors. I remember, on most of long travelings and road trips, our standard mid day vegetarian meal use to be Dal tadka, hot phulkas, jeera rice, aloo bhindi, paneer masala and dahi lassi. Since then this meal has become one of my favorites.

Now also we always try to find an authentic Punjabi dhaba (typically run by a Punjabi) present along the highway route where the food is usually cooked over wood fire.

There are number of dal recipes in my blog and I wonder why it took me so long to post the recipe of Dal Tadka which happens to be my favorite dal. But today, I just cooked it and took all the images for you. Dal Tadka, aka Tadka Dal or Dal Tarka is a healthy, hearty, beautifully textured and smoky flavored Indian dal dish.

While cooking this dal at home, the aroma that emanates from it, is something one should definitely experience. I cannot explain in words. You can feel yourself the sizzle and mingle of Indian spices in hot oil or desi ghee, that is Truly amazing 🙂

How to make Dal Tadka Recipe:

Dal Tadka Recipe

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories per serving: 170

Fat per serving: 6.1g

Dal Tadka Recipe

Dal Tadka Recipe is an authentic Indian Dal Recipe, cooked with a traditional combination of Tur dal, Moong dal and Chana dal. It is the famous Dal Dish of Punjabi Cuisine.


  • 1 cup Tur dal / tuvar dal/ split pigeon pea lentils (kandi pappu/red gram da)
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal (pesara pappu/yellow lentils)
  • 1 cup chana dal (bengal gram/senaga pappu)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/6 tsp asafoetida
  • 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp ghee /oil
  • Salt to taste
  • For tempering/tadka/poppu you will require:
  • 1 tbsp oil / ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 10 cloves of garlic, fine chopped
  • 1 whole Kashmiri red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped (for garnishing)


  1. Pick and rinse the dals thoroughly in normal water and soak them separately at least for half an hour. Combine all three dals in a pressure cooker, add some salt along with 3 cups of water. Pressure cook dal for up to 4 whistles and keep aside. If cooking over stove top, then cook till dals are almost cooked. Uncover the pressure cooker and check it. Once dal is well cooked, beat it with a churner/ wooden spoon or with hand blander, till well mashed and creamy. Now here you have to decide the consistency of dal before tempering it.
  2. Generally this type of dal is neither thick nor thin but has a medium consistency. Dal will be creamy but a little thick after pressure cooking. Add some water to get the desired consistency and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Melt the ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel, crush coriander seeds and put in a ghee. Stir fry for few seconds and saute chopped onion on a low flame. Add chopped tomatoes, asafoetida, green chillies, turmeric and salt to taste. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes, till tomatoes tenders. Now add mashed dal and mix well.
  4. Cook on a low flame for about 6-8 minutes, without putting lid on it. Cook continue, till you get the consistency of your choice. Remove onto a serving bowl and keep aside while you prepare the tempering. Heat a sauce pan and add oil or ghee in it. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow the seeds to splutter and then add ginger and garlic. Saute for a while and add asafoetida, crushed kasuri methi, whole red chilli and red chilli powder. Pour the prepared tempering over dal.
  5. Garnish dal with some freshly chopped coriander leaves.
  6. Serve with roti, jeera rice or with any pulao recipe.


Several variation can be done while cooking this dal, e.g. you can add chopped onion before sauteing tomatoes. You can mix only tur dal and yellow moong dal for preparing Dal Tadka. A pinch of garam masala powder and amchur can be added into the tempering. Dal Tadka consistency should be neither thick nor thin but medium. If you prefer, you can go for a slightly thick or thin dal consistency.

Dal Tadka

Further Reading:

You may also like Punjabi Dal Tadka, Sukhi Dal and Masoor Dal.



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