Tadka Masoor Dal


Sometimes a simple dal can bring so much taste to everyday food. Dals are a major part of Indian Cuisine and they’re made in different forms all over the country. This recipe yields tasteful Tadka Masoor Dal that you can team up with jeera rice, chapati, or even parantha for a healthy complete meal, any day.


  • Masoor Dal (Brown Lentil)                              1/2 cup
  • Water                                                           1.5 – 2 cups
  • Onion, chopped                                             1 small
  • Tomato, chopped                                           1 small
  • Ginger, grated                                               3/4 teaspoon
  • Green chilies, finely chopped                         1 – 2 small
  • Garlic, finely chopped                                   2 – 3 cloves
  • Cumin Seeds                                                 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt                                                               To taste
  • Turmeric Powder                                           1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder                                           1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder                                         1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala                                               1/2 teaspoon
  • Cooking Oil / Ghee (Clarified Butter)              1 – 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh Coriander (Cilantro), chopped               For garnish


  1. Wash the dal 3 – 4 times with clean water and then put it in a pressure cooker with the water, salt and turmeric powder.

Note: The quantity of water should ideally be 3 times the quantity of dal.

If you wish to cook the dal without pressure cooker, you can cook it in an open pan. For this, soak the dal in water for 1 – 2 hours and after that, boil it in a deep pan filled with 3 – 4 times the water. When the dal becomes so soft that it squashes within your fingers easily, it’s done.

  1. Place the pressure cooker or high heat and let it come to a whistle.
  2. After 3 whistles, reduce the heat to low and let the dal simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
  3. Now you’ll have to wait till the steam within the cooker escapes. Meanwhile, prepare the tadka (tempering).
  4. Place a shallow frying pan over medium heat and pour the cooking oil or ghee in it. Once the oil / ghee heats up, throw in the cumin seeds.
  5. As soon as they start to crackle, add the garlic and roast it for a few seconds, just until you can smell it.
  6. Now add the green chilies and ginger and stir-fry for about 20 seconds.
  7. Throw in the chopped onion. Stir-fry everything till the onion becomes light brown.
  8. Add the tomato and stir-fry everything. Once the oil / ghee separates, add the red chili powder and coriander powder.
  9. Stir and cook the tempering for about a minute and then turn off the heat.
  10. Check if all the steam has escaped from the cooker. If it has, carefully open the lid and check that the dal has boiled properly. If it squashes within your fingers easily, it is done. Else, close the lid of the cooker and replace it on high heat. After 2 whistles, reduce the heat and simmer it for 10 more minutes. Then switch off the heat.
  11. Once the dal has boiled properly, add the prepared tadka (tempering) and give it a final stir. Then place the cooker on low heat.
  12. Let the dal come to a boil and then sprinkle garam masala over it. Reduce the heat and simmer it for 1 – 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Note: If you feel the consistency of the dal is too thick, before placing it over heat for the final boil, add a little water. Allow it to come to a nice boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 1 – 2 minutes and then turn off the heat.

Tip: You can add the garam masala along with the coriander at step 8 too. However, adding it like this at the last gives the dal a great garam masala aroma. Try it!

  1. Pour the prepared dal in a serving bowl and garnish with freshly chopped coriander. Serve hot with chapatti or rice.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 2 – 3

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