Spicy Indian Lentil Dal

December 26, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Dal is such the constant in any Indian household. Typically eaten with chappati or roti, “dal roti” can be compared to “bread and butter” in terms of how much of a fundamental dish it is in Indian cuisine. The word “tadka” refers to cooking of whole spices or other ingredients such as onion or ginger in oil to flavour the dal. Made with a mix of moong and masoor dal, both are available in most supermarkets and all Asian grocery stores. With the weather turning cold, this dish is a great winter warmer! —monica's spicediary

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup masoor lentils
  • 1/2 cup moong lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green birds eye chilli (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1-2 tsp salt (according to taste)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 can plum tomatoes
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Wash both dals and place in a pressure cooker. Add water so it is about 1? above the dal. Add salt to taste and turmeric powder. Cook until 1st “whistle” goes off and turn off heat. (If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can also boil the dal in a pan).
  2. Whilst the dal is cooking heat oil and butter in a pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the onion and chilli.
  3. Cook until slightly golden and add the garlic and ginger. Let it cook until slightly brown and add the salt, garam masala and paprika.
  4. Add the plum tomatoes. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes or until oil begins to separate from masala.
  5. Once the dal is ready, remove from heat and carefully release steam from pressure cooker and add it to the masala.
  6. Mix the masala with the dal. Add the water and stir well. Add the coriander. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
  7. If you think the dal is too thick you can add a little water at this point. Bring dal to boil and you’re done! Best served with rice :)
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8 Reviews

Tara May 11, 2016
Can anyone tell me how it turned out?
AntoniaJames February 22, 2013
Dinner tonight! ;o)
healthierkitchen March 1, 2011
monica - re the 1/4 can plum tomatoes - is it 1/4 of a 28 ounce can, or a smaller can? Thanks so much. I'm looking forward to making this soon.
nutcakes December 27, 2010
Can't wait to try, I wish this was dinner tonight with a piece of nan.
J. A. December 26, 2010
Love all the spices in the recipe!
monkeymom December 26, 2010
Monica, this looks delicious. What color are each of the lentils?
monica's S. December 26, 2010
Hey thanks! The masoor dal is orange and the moong dal is yellow (it's skinless moong).
monkeymom December 26, 2010
thank you! Rice and beans sounds so good right now!