Dal Tadka

Dal Chawal (Lentils with Rice) has got to be one of the most comforting, nostalgia-inducing meals for Indians. It is such a staple in every house, in almost every meal. There are many dals out there, made in various ways and each household has their go-to version of this happiness giving combo.

In our house, it was arhar (aka toor/split pigeon peas) dal. Made pretty much everyday. To date, this is my go-to comfort food. The simplicity, the flavour, the wholesomeness – unparalleled.


Growing up, dal was not made with tadka (tempering). We used to like it plain, just with cumin, turmeric and salt. Over time however, my tastes have evolved and now I prefer it with a little extra oomph. A very basic tempering, but super yum! Even K likes this dal preparation and is quite happy eating this at least once a week πŸ™‚

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When I say Dal-Chawal, I really mean it. Normally people add dal to their rice in a way that there is more rice to dal per bite. I used to add rice to the dal. As my mom used to say, it was a swimming pool! The ratio of dal to rice used to be out of whack πŸ™‚ Even now, I can have it this way. Or just bowls of dal by itself. Or put dal in a bowl, add veggies to it and that’s the meal. No rice required. As you can see, I really love dal. Especially this dal ❀


Arhar dal cooks super past and is such and easy thing to make for a quick meal. All you need to do is soak for about 30 minutes prior to cooking. Make sure you make a lot, it is going to consumed fast!

For me, no dal is complete without a little bit of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime. Simple, delicious and just a bowl of hugs!

Try this and let me know if it gives you the same sense of happiness πŸ™‚

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Dal Tadka

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


1.5 cups split pigeon pea (arhar/toor dal) – soaked in 3 cups water for 30 minutes

1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder

1 tomato – chopped fine

1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp chopped garlic/garlic granules

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin (jeera) powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp oil

salt to taste

2 tbsp fresh coriander

1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Drain the soaked lentils. Add to a pressure cooker with enough water to cover the lentils well, around 3-4 cups of water. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well.
  2. Pressure cook on medium flame for 4-5 whistles, around 20 minutes.
  3. Release the pressure and open the cooker.
  4. Heat a small pan, add oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the seeds crackle, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute till slightly golden.
  6. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes till they soften but make sure they don’t become too mushy.
  7. Add the cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and cook for another minute.
  8. Transfer this tempering (tadka) to the dal in the cooker. Bring the dal back on the heat and cook for another 3-4 minutes. In case it is too think, add a little water to get it to your desired consistency.
  9. Taste and adjust for salt and chilli. Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix well.
  10. Transfer the dal to your serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot. [/recipe-ingredients]



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A baker, a dancer, a marketeer. Sometimes lazy. Always up to try new food, read interesting books and meet amazing people :)

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