Dal Tadka Recipe (Restaurant / Punjabi Dhaba Style recipe) with step by step instructional video. This dal tadka recipe brings authentic flavors of traditional style cooking in modern kitchen. Dal Tadka is one of the most famous side dish made from lentils and tempered with mix of spices.
This is a typical traditional North Indian dal tadka recipe where I used mix of different spices and herbs typically used in North Indian cooking. Whenever I go to restaurant or dhaba I always order this dal tadka as it is one of my favorites, but not everywhere I get that smoky flavor I love it for. In this recipe, I brought all those flavors and smokiness together.
There are many other restaurant style and dhaba style recipes in this blog like bhindi ka salan, matar paneer, egg curry, paneer masala, achari baingan, rajma masala that you may also like. These dishes taste just like restaurant and dhaba food but made fresh and in easy way at home.
To make this dal tadka I have used arhar dal or toor dal ( pigeon peas) but sometimes I also use mix of dals like arhar/toor dal (split pigeon peas lentils), chana dal (Bengal gram split and skinned) and masoor dal ( split pink lentils).
Making this dal tadka is very easy, just boil the lentils (dal) and temper before serving. You can also make dal ahead of time. Just heat the dal and pour tadka or tempering over it before serving. This dal tadka goes very well with white steamed rice, chapatis and parathas.
In this dal tadka recipe I used onions and tomatoes while cooking dal. If you don’t like them you may skip them and cook plain dal only with salt and little turmeric powder. To give dal Tadka smoky flavor I used charcoal. I burned the charcoal on stove till it became red hot from both the sides then put it in the steel bowl (or you can make bowl with aluminum foil) and pour some butter or ghee on blazing coal which gives nice fresh smoke. Now gently and carefully put this bowl in the middle of cooked dal and cover it with a lid. Keep dal covered for 5-6 minutes or more if you are real fan of smoky flavor like me. This method is called “dhungur”. If you do not have charcoal or you do not like smoky smell you can skip this method and just put basic garlic chilly tadka.
I always like to use freshly made ginger garlic paste while making this dal tadka. In the video you can see I used my stone to crush garlic, ginger, chilly and coriander seeds which releases oil and give very fresh aroma to dal. You can also use motor pestle to do that. Also I used mixture of oil and butter to make tadka or tempering, you may also make it with ghee or oil alone.
Here are few tips which will help you in making perfect dal tadka:
- Do not overcook dal. We want cooked dal and not a paste in this recipe.
- Adding tomatoes and onions are optional while making this dal.
- This dal can be made with or without dhungur method.
- You can use any combination of oil, butter or ghee in making tadka.
- Adding few drops of oil while cooking dal will avoid it from overflowing while cooking in pressure cooker.
- I washed dal and soaked it for 20 minutes before cooking which helps in cooking dal faster and easily.
Dal Tadka Video recipe:
Dal Tadka recipe card:
- For Making Dal
- Tuvar Dal (pigeon peas) : 1 cup (soaked in water for 20 minutes)
- Tomatoes: 1 cup (chopped)
- Onion: ½ cup (chopped)
- Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
- Water: 4 cups
- Coriander leaves
- For Making Tadka
- Green Chillies: 2
- Ginger: 1 inch
- Garlic: 6-7 cloves
- Coriander seeds: 1tsp
- Oil: 2 tbps
- Butter: 3 tbsp
- Dry Red Chillies: 2
- Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
- Asafetida (hing): 2 pinches
- Kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves): 1 tsp
- Red chilly powder: ½ tsp
- Kashmiri lal mirch or degi mirch: ½ tsp
- Wash and soak dal for 20 minutes.
- In the meanwhile make fresh ginger, garlic, green chilly and coriander seeds paste.
- Add 3 cups of water, chopped tomatoes, onions, turmeric power, salt and few drops of oil and pressure cook dal. I took 2 whistles.
- Once pressure cooker cools down open it and boil dal for almost 5 minutes. Afetr 5 minutes switch off the heat.
- Now burn the charcoal form both the sides on stove top till it becomes red hot. Put it in the steel bowl and drop some butter or ghee on it. This will make charcoal smoke.
- Now gently put this bowl in dal, cover the cooker.
- After almost 4-5 minutes slowly take the bowl of the cooker with the help of tongs.
- Now heat the pan at medium heat and add oil, butter, whole red chilly, cumin seeds.
- Add freshly made garlic paste, saute continuously and cook till raw smell id gone.
- Add red chilly powder, Kashmiri chilly power and sweitch of the heat.
- When you are ready to serve put this tadka in hor dal.
- Serve dal tadka with with rice , rotis or parathas. Tastes heaven :p
2. Adding tomatoes and onions are optional while making this dal.
3. This dal can be made with or without dhungur method.
4. You can use oil, butter or ghee in making tadka.
5. Adding few drops of oil while cooking dal will stop dal overflowing while cooking.
6. I washed dal and soaked it for 20 minutes before cooking which will help dal cook faster and easily.