Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dhaba Style Dal Tadka - A spicy North Indian vegan dish

This is one recipe which is originated from North India but it is so yummy that every Indian loves it. This was made popular in the street side dhabas of Punjab but now available in any good restaurant. Yes, I am talking about Dal Tadka. There are various ways to make this dish but this one maintains the thin balance between the tasty and healthy. As you know that is the motto of my blog. Now let’s start w/o boring you too much:-

Preparation Time: - 25~30 min

Cooking Time: - 10~15 min

Servings: - 4~5 persons (varies according to the capacity of consumption)


For the dal

  1. ½ cup split pigeon pea (Arhar Dal / Toor Dal/ Tuvar Dal)
  2. ½ cup Whole Green Mung / Moong Dal
  3. ½ cup split Bengal Gram ( Chana Dal )
  4. 1 small Onion chopped
  5. ¼ inch finely chopped Ginger
  6. 1 chopped or lengthwise slit Green Chili
  7. 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  8. Few chopped coriander leaves
  9. ½ tsp Garam Masala
  10. Salt as per taste
  11. 2 ½ cup water

For tempering tadka

  1. 3 tbsp Ghee / Butter. Alternatively you can use 3 ½ tbsp Vegetable oil (I prefer Sunflower oil but you can use Canola or any vegetable oil) I personally prefer to use a mixture of 1 tbsp Ghee and 1 tbsp oil to start with and then 1 more tbsp. of Ghee at the end
  2. 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  3. 5~6 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
  4. 1 mushy medium size Tomato chopped
  5. 1 medium chopped onion
  6. ¼ inch chopped / paste Ginger
  7. 2~3 red Chili ( I used slit green chilli)
  8. ½ tsp Red Chilli Powder ( I used Kashmiri red chili powder )
  9. 1 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
  10. Pinch of hing /asafetida
  11. 1 tsp crushed Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  12. ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  13. ½ tsp Cumin Powder
  14. ½ tsp Coriander Powder
  15. 1 tsp Garam Masala
  16. 1 tsp lemon juice
  17. Salt to taste


  1. Soak and drain all the lentils (Dal). The soaking should be for 1~2 hours if you plan to boil them in a vessel / pot. If you want to cook quickly please use pressure cooker as I did. In this case the soaking can be of 15 min or so.
  2. Chop onion, tomato, ginger and garlic.
  3. Take a medium size (at least 3 liter volume) pressure cooker and add all the lentils (dal). Add water.
  4. Add chopped onion, tomato, ginger, coriander leaves and green chilies.
  5. Mix well and pour turmeric powder, garam masala and asafetida.
  6. Boil the lentils in pressure cooker till 7 or 8 whistles or till it is soft and creamy. Stir with a big spoon and check the consistency of the mixture. If it becomes too thick you can add a little water and simmer for 2~3 minutes to arrive at your desired gravy level. Now keep aside.
  7. Take a non-stick tawa / frying pan and heat a mixture of 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. You can use 2 tbsp ghee or 2 ½ tbsp. vegetable oil if you prefer.
  8. When sufficiently heated add cumin seeds and green chili (if you do not use red chilli - I do not as I have kids as a target consumer of my recipes). When they crackle add garlic.
  9. Sauté for 1 min till the garlic turn brown.
  10. Add ginger, onion, tomatoes and coriander leaves in that order.
  11. Cook till the juice from tomatoes gets reduced and oil is separated.
  12. Now add asafetida, kasuri methi, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili.
  13. Sauté for couple of minutes.
  14. Now pour the already cooked lentils and mix it thoroughly.
  15. Let it cook for 3 minutes and adjust the salt level.
  16. You can add water if you need to dilute.
  17. Sprinkle few drops of lemon juice, add 1 tbsp Ghee and garam masala.
  18. Stir and mix thoroughly.
  19. Switch off the burner and garnish with green chili and coriander leaves.

Now your delicious Dal tadka is ready for you to consume. I have a special gourmet tip here:- sometimes  I fry a few cubes of Paneer and use it for garnishing. This makes it even yummier and my family loves it.

This goes well with any meal. I prefer it in dhaba style with Tandorri Roti / Naan but it goes as well with any flavored rice.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

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