Traditional recipes

Spicy tarka dhal recipe

Spicy tarka dhal recipe

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

A recipe for tarka dhal that I tried and added to. Leave out a chilli if you don't like it very spicy. Serve as part of a larger Indian meal or enjoy as a vegetarian main alongside rice, roti or chapati.

28 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 150g red lentils
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 to 2 knobs butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (3.5cm) piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • chopped fresh coriander

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Wash the lentils and put in a saucepan with half of the turmeric. Cover with 2 to 3cm water at the top. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer.
  2. In a separate pan, melt the butter then add the onions and chillies and fry until translucent. Add garlic and ginger followed by the tomato, pepper and spices making sure not to burn. Turn off heat.
  3. When the lentils have gone soft and water has reduced, mash some lentils at the bottom of the pan. The mixture will start to go thick.
  4. Add the onion mixture to the lentil mixture. Mix well. Add in fresh coriander if desired and serve.


Add extra water if it's too thick. Add any veg in your fridge you need using up.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (2)

Delicious!!-25 Feb 2017

Super tasty spicyone of the best veg dishespure <3 alchemy gratitude REE-14 Mar 2016

Tarka Dhal

I cannot think of anything more comforting than a bowl of hot steamy “Tarka Dhal”. Dhal is a staple food, served in most Indian household – a true classic. Creamy, spicy, aromatic with a blend of golden roasted flavours of spices. Tarka dhal is very unique to each individual this is my version, like most of my food I like them aromatic with subtle spices. Just by looking at a tarka dhal with all the ingredients in it may seems complicated but trust me this is a quick recipe. I use either red split lentil or Moong dhal for this dish as it does not take long to cook, turns very creamy and easy to digest. Enjoyed with Indian breads, rice, even with croutons or crusty bread. Here is one of my favorites, a very easy to cook meal that will be enjoyed by everyone.

Ingredients Serves 4-6

  • 125 gms Moong dhal or yellow split lentils
  • 250 mls water – enough to cover the dhal
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 finely sliced onion – fried in oil until nicely browned
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder or garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder, to taste
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • Handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs ghee or vegetable oil
  • Few curry leaves or sage leaves (I did this with sage leaves once and it tasted really good with the crispy fried sage leaves, quite different)
  • Chopped coriander leaves for serving – I like to add the coriander stalks in the dhal while it simmers.

  1. Wash the dhal in a deep saucepan, add enough water to cover and bring to the boil. As it starts to boil a white scum will start to form, using a ladle skim the white foam scum. Add salt, cinnamon stick, the bay leaves and leave to boil until soft. Cooking can take up to 20 minutes on a medium heat.
  2. While your dhal/lentils is cooking, prepare the tarka ingredients.
  3. In a small sauce pan melt the ghee/vegetable oil add the sliced onion, curry leaves, cumin seeds, garam masala or coriander powder, turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes followed by the ginger and garlic. Leave to cook until all the ingredients are golden brown almost reducing into a paste. ( whenever adding spices to a dish it is very important to add them in stages as not all cook at the same temperature and by doing so it releases each of the ingredients aromas in stages)
  4. Pour the taka over the lentils and stir it all in, leaving some of the tarka mixture for later. Leavethe dhal/lentils to simmer for another few minutes or until all comes together. Taste for seasoning and texture as it should neither be too thick nor too watery.
  5. Just before serving warm the reserved tarka add a little drop of ghee, the dried chilli and pour over the dhal/lentils and enjoy the aromas as it sizzles.
  6. Serve hot.

A bit of a soak?

Simon Daley dal. Photograph: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian

Traditionally, according to my trusty Oxford Companion, mung dal would have been soaked before cooking, to save fuel – in these profligate days, I can only find one recipe which calls for such a step, in the excellent Riverford Farm Cook Book. Madhur’s own, meanwhile, as handed down from on high in The Essential Madhur Jaffrey, calls for them to be simmered for an hour and a half far longer than the standard 20–30 minutes I find elsewhere.

After experimenting, however, I begin to realise that the aim when cooking dal is to achieve a blessedly comforting creaminess, which can only come from pulses that have thoroughly broken down. Soaking hastens this process, and you can also cheat and, as, as recommended in Simon Daley’s Cooking with my Indian Mother-in-Law (a book I highly recommend), take a whisk to the cooked dal and beat it into smooth submission, but having tried all three methods, long slow cooking produces by far the best result. Madhur’s dal has an unctuous silkiness which sets it apart from the others – and is well worth waiting for.

Tarka Daal

Tarka Dal is simple and delicious dish. Tarka means Tempering with ghee, mustard, cumin seeds, and flavoured with onions, garlic, red chillies, green chillies etc. You can put any tempering that you like. You can also add saunf (fennel seeds) and heing to your tempering.

Origin Of Tarka Daal:

Tarka Daal is a North Indian style of preparing lentils. It is also refers in an important part of Pakistani, Indian, Nepali, Srilankan and Bangladeshi cuisine.

Health Benefits Of Tarka Daal:

Daals are a vital ingredients in every days cooking. It is a part of the daily menu. It is not surprising considering that lentils and beans are the primary source of protein specially for the vegetarians.

Recipe Of Tarka Daal:

Preparation time 40-45 minutes
Serves 4-5 people


1/2 cup Toor Dal (arhar dal)
1/4 cup Chana Dal (Bengal gram)
1/4 cup Masoor Dal (red lentils)
1 medium Onion, sliced
1 tablespoon crushed Ginger-Garlic
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2½ cups + 1 cup Water
2 teaspoons Ghee or Oil
2 tablespoons chopped Coriander Leaves, for garnishing

For Tempering:

1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped (optional)
1 Dry Red Chilli, broken into two pieces
A pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
2 teaspoons Ghee

Instruction For Cooking:

1. Rinse toor dal, chana dal and masoor dal in water and add them into 3-5 liter capacity steel or aluminum pressure cooker. Add 2-cups water and salt and pressure cook for 4-whistles over medium flame.

2. Turn off flame and allow the pressure to release naturally. Open the lid and keep the cooked dal aside.

3. Heat 2-teaspoons ghee/oil in a pan. Add sliced onion and sauté until it turns light brown.

4. Add crushed ginger-garlic and chopped green chilli and sauté for 30-40 seconds. Make sure, garlic does not turn dark brown.

5. Add chopped tomato and sauté until it turns soft.

6. Add and mix turmeric powder and red chilli powder.

7. Add cooked dal and mix well.

8. Add 1-cup water and stir to mix. Taste for the seasoning and add salt accordingly.

9. Cook on medium flame until you get the desired consistency of dal or for approx. 5 -6 minutes, stir multiple times in-between. Remove it from flame and transfer into a large serving bowl.

Instruction For Tempering Making:

1. Prepare the tempering by heating 2- teaspoons ghee in a small pan. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Add chopped garlic, dry red chillies and asafoetida, mix well and allow garlic to turn light brown.

2. Remove pan from flame and pour prepared tempering over cooked dal in a serving bowl.

3. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.

Variation In Tarka Daal:

Tarka Daal has many versions as region wise or as per your liking and taste who prepare the daal. You can also add ginger and garlic and amchoor powder to give daal a slight tangy taste.

Uses Of Tarka Daal:

Tarka Daal is oftenly served with boiled rice and also with plain roti or chapatis. Some people like to eat with naan or qulcha.

Yellow Daal Tadka

Posted By Savita

A simple, healthy split yellow lentil (daal) recipe prepared with aromatics, seasoned with tomatoes and garlic, and flavored with spiced oil known as Tadka. A simple, quick, and perfect meatless Monday meal with side of steamed rice. This classic lentils recipe never gets old. It freezes well, is gluten free, vegan, and has potential to load-up with any seasonal veggies in-hand.

Two months ago, CDH completed 7 years. While I wanted to share something special for the occasion.. Our move made me change my plans. Last week, while cooking a simple weekday dinner of this Daal Tadka and Rice reminded me of old days when I started blogging.. This was one of the first recipe I posted on blog. So, I decided to take few clicks and revive this old post with some new pictures.. and give you flavor of old CDH. :)

Yellow Daal with Tadka (tempered spiced oil) is most humble lentil preparation and an every day recipe in every Indian household. Every region has their own version of this lentil stew. My recipe is most common in Northern region. Over time, my lentil Tadka recipe has grown as my taste and love for food has grown.. These days, I prepare it various ways depending upon the season and mood. Initially, I had planned to share another version of this Lentils today but felt.. I cannot do justice with new recipe until I revive my old post. I still plan to share the few other favorite versions of Daal Tadka. Check back soon. I will update all my shares here.

Like I said, this simple dish can also be served as a spiced soup. Serve bread to scoop the daal and splash of lemon juice to cut balance the flavor of spices. Even today, whenever I prepare Daal Tadka for dinner.. I save some leftovers for lunch. For lunch, I thin-out the daal with some water or vegetable stock, taste and adjust seasoning, warm it up, add splash of lemon juice. This easy step turns it into a lentil soup. A side of warm bread and this soup feels like a most comforting easy meal ever!

Make Ahead: Daal Tadka can be prepared 1-2 days in advance. It gets thick as it sits for long which can be fixed while re-heating the daal. Simply dilute with water and adjust seasonings (if needed). Reheat and enjoy!

All lentils are gluten free. So is this daal recipe. It is also nut free and vegan. In traditional preparation, clarified butter (called Ghee) is used to instead of oil for tempering. I like to only use oil and no butter which makes this recipe vegan and lighter.

I recommend loading daal with seasonal veggies such as small diced carrots, zucchini, or cauliflower. Boil with lentils for more flavor. Make it a loaded veggie and protein-full meatless weeknight dinner. If prefer, serve with rice, bread, or naan. Or a green citurs salad goes great as well.

No matter how you serve.. One thing is certain! You will fall in LOVE with the flavors and simplicity of this dish!

PS: Yellow Daal Tadka recipe was first published in June 2011. Today, I have updated the pictures, and added more explanation in method of preparation.

Boil 1 litre water and add the chana dhal, garlic, ginger, turmeric and bay leaves. Return the mixture to the boil and skim off any scum from the top. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer the mixture for 45-60 mins, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.

To make the tarka, heat the oil or ghee in a pan, then add the cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds. Add the onion, garlic and chilli to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 mins, or until the onion has softened. Remove the pan from the heat.

If the dhal mixture is still runny, remove the pan lid and increase the heat to reduce the liquid, stirring well.

Once the dhal has softened and is almost smooth, season with salt. Serve with the tarka spooned on top, reheating it if necessary. The tarka may be stirred into the dhal and frozen for up to a month. Defrost before reheating.

This Restaurant Style Dal Tadka

✓ tastes just like the dal tadka from your favorite restaurant

✓ has a smokey flavor which makes it more amazing!

✓ tastes amazing with plain rice or jeera rice

✓ bursting with some amazing flavors

Over the years, I have tried countless variations of dal tadka, both in India and then here in the US. Some people mix several types of lentils while other stick to only toor dal for the recipe.

Some make a tadka of onion only, while others go heavy on spices. As with most Indian recipes, there no right or wrong method or way here.

You make it in a way you like it. That’s always been my philosophy for cooking. After a lot of attempts, I have finally zeroed on my favorite version of dal tadka and I am really excited to be sharing this one with you guys.

  • 250g/9oz chana dal, rinsed until the water runs clear
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3–4 whole green chillies, pricked with a knife
  • 2cm/¾in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 3 tomatoes
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the lentils and 900ml/1¾ pints of water into a saucepan, stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 35–40 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender, adding more water as necessary.

When the lentils have cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and use a whisk to break them down. Set the mixture aside to thicken and cool.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 20–30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add the onion, chillies and ginger and fry for 4–5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Blend the garlic and tomatoes to a purée in a food processor. Add the purée to the pan and stir well to combine.

Add the ground spices and 100ml/3½fl oz of water to the pan and stir well to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and simmer over a medium heat for 15–20 minutes, or until the oil from the sauce has risen to the surface of the sauce.

Add the cooked lentils to the sauce and stir well, adding more water as necessary to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to the boil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.

Recipe Tips

The chana dal need to be rinsed thoroughly until the water runs clear before using.

Tarka Daal

I don’t think there’s anything more comforting than a steaming bowl of Tarka Daal. Creamy orange-yellow, studded with the red of the tomatoes and the green of the coriander. Peppery with cumin and tangy with ginger, you can enjoy it with a thick, doughy tandoori roti or some fluffy rice. Don’t forget to buy some mango pickle!

No two people make daal exactly the same way. And that’s the beauty of it. Once you get a basic recipe you like, you can add your favourite ingredients or omit the bits you’re not that keen on. Don’t be shy with the spices!

The real surprise of this dish though is its simplicity. You just put everything in a pot and leave it to boil away merrily for 45 minutes. This will become your signature dish. A true classic.

  • 1 mug channa daal or yellow split peas
  • 4 mugs water
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped or julienne
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder, to taste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/4 onion, sliced

Wash the daal a few times, drain and then put it in a large pot. Add the 4 mugs of water.

Add all the spices, the garlic, tomatoes and ginger.

Bring to the boil, cover and let it bubble away on a medium to high heat for around 40-45 minutes. Make sure it’s bubbling away or it will take longer to cook. Don’t be afraid of the high heat – there’s a lot of water in there to get rid of. Be brave!

Halfway through cooking, taste the cooking liquid and adjust the chilli, salt or spices if you need to.

(Cook it to the consistency you like. A few more minutes to thicken it. You can always add a bit of water to thin it out.)

Take off the heat, add the chopped coriander. Mix very gently once.

Transfer into serving bowl.

Don’t forget the tarka (fried onions)

Fry the onions in a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil til dark golden brown then scatter over the top of the daal, without mixing.


  1. Wash the two kinds of dhal (toor dhal and regular masoor dal), drain and set aside.
  2. (If you are using chickpeas, make sure they have been soaked overnight before you add them to the pressure cooker).
  3. Add the lentils into the pressure cooker then pour in the water.
  4. Combine both lentils together, add ginger, turmeric, green chillies, tomatoes, asafoetida, garam masala and salt to season.
  5. Place lid over pressure cooker and cook for three whistles. Let out the pressure, uncover(careful of the steam).
  6. Use a whisk or wooden spoon to break down the dhal. The result of this should be a creamy consistency with a few lentils holding their shape(try not to overdo this part or you might end with the lentils turning mushy).
  7. If you find the dal mixture too thick in consistency, add 1/2 a cup of water to get the consistency right.
  8. Season with salt and further simmer over low fire for 3-5 minutes. Set aside and move onto tempering the ingredients.

Tempering and cooking dhal tadka.

  1. Place a regular frying pan over low heat and let the pan warm, pour in the oil or ghee.
  2. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, chilli powder, dry whole red chillies, a pinch of asafoetida, kasthuri methi and slow sauté the spices until they turn golden(under 5 minutes) and release their aroma.
  3. Add the tempering to the mixed lentils while it is still hot and mix with the dhal.
  4. Season with for salt and add if necessary, garnish the dal with some chopped coriander leaves.

Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
It&rsquos free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.

All I ask is that you do not save it on any apps, recipe boxes or online groups which will affect me as a food blogger and the growth of this blog. I would appreciate if you only share the link rather than the full recipe.

All images and text on this website are protected by copyright.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe for Updates & Newsletter

This site has been monetized with affiliate links. What this means is that I will receive a small percentage of any sales made through them. The income will pay for hosting, props, gear and recipe testing. Thank you for your support!

Watch the video: How to make Tarka Dhal (July 2022).


  1. Tareq

    You know my opinion

  2. Sasha

    I agree with all of the above-said. Let us try to discuss the matter. Here, or in the afternoon.

  3. Agneya

    All is well that ends well.

  4. Mokatavatah

    I apologise, but you could not give little bit more information.

  5. Redmond

    the incomparable topic, it's interesting to me :)

  6. Tevin

    Completely I share your opinion. In it something is also to me your idea is pleasant. I suggest to take out for the general discussion.

Write a message