Dhaba Style Dal Tadka

Ingredients (Serves 3 – 4)

  1. Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Masoor dal – 2 tbsp

Moong dal – 2 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Water – 1.5  cup or as required

For first tadka

2. Ghee – 1.5 tbsp

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Hing / asafoetida – 1 pinch

3. Onion – 1/2 cup, finely chopped

Green chilies – 2, slit

Ginger and garlic – 3/4 tsp each, finely chopped

4. Chilli powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp

5. Tomato – 1 medium, finely chopped

Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp

6. Kasoori methi – 1/8 tsp

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

7. Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped

8. Charcoal – 1 (for smoky flavor)

For second tadka

9. Ghee – 2 tsp

10. Garlic – 1 – 2 medium, sliced

Dried red chilies – 2 – 3, broken

Chilli powder – 1/4 tsp


  1. Rinse the dal well. Pressure cook the mixed dal adding enough water, turmeric powder and 1 tsp oil for 1 – 2 whistles. Set aside for 15 minutes or until pressure releases.
  2. Heat ghee over medium-high heat. Splutter cumin seeds and add hing. Stir for a few seconds and add onion, ginger, garlic, green chilies little salt and saute until light golden. Add chilli powder, coriander powder and saute for a minute until their raw smell disappears. Add chopped tomato and cook until mushy and oil separates. Add garam masala powder and mix well. Next add the pressure cooked dal and 1/2 cup hot water.  Keep in mind that it will turn very thick as it rests. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a few minutes. Taste-check for salt. Add kasoori methi and mix well. Switch off. Add lemon juice and mix well.
  3. For smoky flavor – Heat a charcoal over flame for a few minutes and place inside a small steel bowl. Place the bowl inside dal carefully and pour 1 – 2 tsp of ghee over it. Immediately cover the pan with lid. Remove charcoal bowl after 3 – 4 minutes.

  1. For second tadka – Heat 2 tsp ghee over medium-high heat. Add dried red chilies, garlic and cook over low flame until light golden. Switch off. Add chilli powder, stir for a few seconds and switch off. Pour this seasoning over the dal. Sprinkle cilantro and serve with naan/cumin rice / plain rice etc.

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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