Dal Tadka ~ Tempered Lentil Stew



After a little break, it is good to come to the participating in the Blogging Marathon, in its edition #81. Last month, the group had done a mega marathon over the theme “Protein Based Dishes” and there were some amazing recipes that came up in the process. I am still happy to keep going with doing two BM themes per month, since I find it much easier to manage and keep blogging at peace. 🙂 For this week, the theme I have chosen is “Lentil Sides”. Lentils are a major source of proteins as far as vegetarians are concerned, and otherwise a source of some comfort food for many! A simple meal of lentils and rice can give you a feeling that no lavish meal can provide! I am sure many will agree to this. 🙂


One of the most prepared lentil curries in India is called “Dal Tadka”. It literally means “tempered lentils”, and basically that is what it is. The beauty of this dish is that it varies from family to family – starting from the mix of lentils used, to the spices used, to even the tempering used! The recipe I am sharing with you is how we as a family like it. Chana dal is my favorite lentil when it comes to curries, so I pair it up with toor dal or sometimes masoor dal, depending on availability. The most important part of this dish is of course the tempering! I make it in ghee for additional flavor, and with loads of garlic to give that kick to an otherwise simple dish. Some do smoking by pouring hot ghee over a small piece of charcoal inside the daal pan and leave it closed, but we are not fond of smokey flavors so avoid it. Off to the way I make it…





5 from 2 votes

Dal Tadka ~ Tempered Lentil Stew

Course Curry
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 1/3 cup chana dal
  • 1/3 cup toor dal
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 onion minced
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder
  • 1 to mato chopped
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi crushed
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 dried chillies


  • Combine the dals, turmeric powder and green chillies in a pressure cooker. Add water an inch above the dals. Add salt to taste. Pressure cook on high flame for three whistles and allow the pressure to escape on its own.
  • In an earthern pot, heat oil. Saute the ginger garlic paste till raw smell is gone.
  • Add the onion and cook till wilted.
  • Combine all the powders in a small bowl, add little water to make it like a paste. Add into the onion and saute till a nice aroma comes.
  • Add in the tomato and cook, stirring constantly till the tomato is all mashed up.
  • At this stage, add the cooked dal along with its water and bring it to boil. Add more water as per your required consistency and adjust seasoning.
  • Simmer for five minutes, mix in the kasuri methi and coriander leaves and switch off.
  • In a small fry pan, heat ghee. Splutter the cumin seeds.
  • Add in the garlic and dried chillies and fry till the garlic is browned. Ensure not to burn.
  • Pour this mixture on top of the cooked dal and immediately close the lid. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve warm with rice or roti.


Just like all lentil based curries, this thickens as it sits, so add warm water to adjust its consistency.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see what the other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#81


Join the Conversation

  1. Love dal tadka daba style ..I too make this almost the same way but minus the kasoori methi ..looks yumm dear,simple and comforting !

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I love the flavor of kasuri methi, add it into anything that will go with it! Hehe… thanks a lot Julie…

  2. You are a blogging marathoner. Seriously I need to take some tips from you. Dal…so good over rice. I use all three dals to make it too. Lovely, Rafee.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Nothing much of tips to give, Tisa… just going with the flow… hehe… Thanks a lot dear…

  3. 5 stars
    This is comfort food. Love it with some hot rice. Looks very inviting!!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Veena…

  4. Simple yet delicious food. Dal is must in my home for everyday meal.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Sushma…

  5. This is definitely the kind of dal I would love to come back home to. So comforting and flavorful and yet very simple to make.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Srividhya…

  6. Dal Tadka is my favorite dal and we always order only this when we eat out..I guess doing BM in your own pace gives you the relaxation and enjoyment that comes with it..:)

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Valli…

  7. This so aromatic Sweetie.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks Tuma dear…

  8. So true Rafeeda doing a marathon at your pace is much better. I love this dal tadka that you have shared. Ghee does give a dal awesome flavour. Will not say the same about garlic ;D

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Haha… Surprised to see a garlic hater here! Thank you so much Archana…

  9. Such a comforting dal tadka, serve me with a bowl of rice topped with ghee and papads, i can sit happily and have this tadka shamelessly, my kind of food.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Priyakka…

  10. This is one such dal that is loved by my whole family and is very frequently made. I don’t put amchur, next time will try with that.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Ritu…

  11. 5 stars
    what a flavorful masala – would make a tasty dal tadka for sure

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Mir…

  12. Dals are definitely comfort food. Lovely tadka dal, so creamy and rich looking.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Mayuriji…

  13. Dal is my comfort food too. 🙂 This recipe is more like Dal fry tadka 😀 as you are making the masala and adding the cooked dal and then doing the tadka… makes it a special occasion dal lol. F always says my dal is different each time and in a good way…that is because we keep changing the lentil combo right? I prefer this kinda dal with ghee rice or rotis and the yellow dal tadka for plain rice. You have some energy that keeps you going with all the busy schedule and sometimes I feel I am faking me being busy.. LOL

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I love to cook with chana dal more than any other dal, but a mix always helps… hehe… I don’t have takers for simple dal tadka, then I would have to have it as soup… Alhamdulillah for the energy, that’s all I can say… not having much of it now though so my drafts are really good help… 🙂

  14. Combining dals adds so much to the flavor. Love it. Comfort food at its best.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Varada…

  15. A regular at home Rafee! Bought I try to vary the tempering and the Masala added. An ultimate comfort food! Steaming hot rice, ghee and dal, yummmcombo!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Priya…

  16. My comfort food anytime.. Love it with rice and ghee!!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Sharmila…

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