5. Pour the Tadka spices over the dal and garnish with cilantro. Serve.

4. In a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds, dried red chiles, garlic and curry leaves, then fry until garlic just begins to turn golden brown.


- Serve with rice or Chapati.
3. Add the cooked dal to the tomato and onion mixture.  Add salt and adjust as desired.  Stir in some water if the dal is too thick.  Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat then transfer to a serving bowl.
2. While the dal is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies then fry until the onion begins to turn brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and garam masala, and fry for an additional 5 minutes or until the tomatoes and onion are fully cooked. 


1. Pick through the dal and remove any debris. Thoroughly rinse the dal in cold water. Boil the dal in an uncovered pot with 3 cups of water and turmeric for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally. Skim off any foam that appears on top of the water. While still hot, mash the lentils to the smoothness you prefer by pressing the back of a wooden spoon on the inside wall of the pan.

Tadka Dal  [Indian Lentil RECIPE]

Tadka Dal, originally from the Punjabi region of India, is a lentil dish to which tempered spices are added at either the start or end of the cooking process. These spices are fried in hot oil using a heavy round bottom pan with a long handle, called a tadka, to enhance the flavor of the food by bringing out the essence of the spices. I use a small skillet and that seems to work out fine for my cooking. 

​Recipes for Tadka Dal vary on which lentils to use. Some recipes use masoor dal (orange lentils) or toor dal (red gram dal) exclusively while others use a combination of both along with a bit of green gram dal or channa dal. When I am in a hurry I prefer using masoor dal since it cooks quickly and does not have to be soaked overnight. My Tadka Dal recipe uses masoor dal that is livened up with chopped tomato, onion, ginger and garlic along with a few spices. It comes together when the tadka (oil fried seasonings) spices are added on top. This is a great recipe for people who want a very healthy dish with that is very easy to make.


1 cup masoor dal (split orange lentils)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbs oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
2 green chiles, cut in half lengthwise
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 dried red chiles
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6-8 curry leaves
​cilantro, for garnish