Lentil curry (Dal tadka)


  1. Lentil ( Masoor dal / toor dal) – ¾ cup
  2. Water – 2 cups ( water for pressure cooking the dal)
  3. Medium sized onion, chopped – 1
  4. Medium sized tomato, chopped – 1
  5. Garlic, crushed or finely chopped – 3-4 nos
  6. Ginger, finely chopped – ½ inch
  7. Green chilies, chopped or slit – 2
  8. Lemon juice – ½ or 1 tsp
  9. Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 tsp
  10. Red chili powder – ¼ tsp or ½ ( depends on taste )
  11. Asafetida (hing) – ¼ tsp
  12. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  13. 1-2 red chilies, whole
  14. Coriander leaves chopped – 1 tbsp
  15. Curry leaves – a few (optional)
  16. ¼ or ½ tsp garam masala powder (homemade garam masala powder can be just ¼ tsp)
  17. 1.5 to 2 cups water or as required
  18. 2 tbsp oil or ghee
  19. Salt as required


  1. Soak washed dal for ½ an hour ( soaking is optional – or you need to cook for long )
  2. Pressure cook Lentil (dal) with 2 cups water, till they become soft and mushy.
  3. when the dal is cooked, beat with the back of a spoon, adjust the quantity of water as required
  4. Add chili powder, turmeric, hing powder & enough salt – keep on very low flame.
  5. heat oil or ghee ( or half each) in a frying pan, add cumin seeds, onion, green chili, curry leaves till they are light browned.
  6. Add chopped ginger and garlic to the fry, stir unti it leaves the raw smell.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the oil separates and the tomatoes become soft.
  8. Add all the fried ingredients to the cooked dal.
  9. You may adjust the quantity of water as required, stir. Simmer the dal for 6-7 minutes more on a low or medium flame, till you get the desired consistency. (Neither thick nor thin).
  10. Off the fire, add lemon juice and 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and stir the dal.
  11. Serve hot with steamed basmati rice or roti or chappati.

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