Indian Lentil Curry ( Dal Tadka) Recipe

Spread the love

Indian Lentil Curry ( Dal Tadka) Recipe: Do you really believe that making a Dal the way Indian restaurants do is impossible without going out of your way to find unusual spices? Rethink that! This Indian Dahl lentil curry is incredibly tasty, affordable, and nourishing. It’s also simple!

In Indian cuisine, dal is arguably the most important staple meal. It’s also among the world’s most affordable and enchanted meals. With a few spices, a handful of lentils, and a little love, you can prepare a tasty, nutritious pot that will make your taste buds dance.


Indian Lentil Curry ( Dal Tadka) Recipe


Dal Tadka Instant Pot






  • 2 tbsp / 30 g ghee , or 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp/15g butter
  • 2 green cayenne chillies , deseeded and cut into chunks (optional) 


  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped (brown or yellow)
  • 6 garlic cloves , finely chopped


  • 1 tbsp ginger , finely chopped (1.5cm / 3/5″)
  • 8 fresh curry leaves , or 6 dried (Note 3)


  • 1 tomato , chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin


  • 1 cup dried chana dal , yellow split peas or other yellow lentils (Note 4 for other lentils)
  • 4 cups / 1 litre water


  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp garam marsala
  • 3/4 tsp salt





  • 1 1/2 tbsp / 20g ghee , or half each butter + oil
  • 1 eschalot or 1/4 small onion , halved lengthways and sliced


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
  • 3 dried chillies




  • Rinse the lentils and set them aside to soak for an hour in lots of water. Pour off in a colander.


  • In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil or ghee over high heat. Add the green chilies and cook until they begin to blister, about 1 minute.


  • Fry the onions until they become tender.


  • Reduce heat to medium and mix in curry leaves, ginger, and garlic. Simmer garlic for 1 minute, or until it begins to smell fragrant and turn golden.


  • Cook the tomatoes for about two minutes, or until they begin to break down and thicken into a paste, after adding the cumin.


  • Add the lentils, salt, water, and tumeric. After stirring, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for one hour. Throughout the hour, stir two or three times.


  • Take off the lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 30 minutes to thicken. When the dal is porridge-like in consistency, with some lentils broken down to thicken the sauce and some remaining whole, it’s done


  • Finally, stir in the garam masala. If desired, adjust the salt.


  • Stir through after adding Tadka, if using.


  • If preferred, top the dahl over rice with a sprig of coriander.




  • In a small skillet, heat the ghee over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking.


  • Stir in mustard seeds and cumin until the cumin turns a light shade of gold.


  • Next, add the chilies and sauté for a further 20 seconds. Finally, add the escallots and fry until they turn golden. Keep the spices from burning! Pour straight into Dahl.




Rare Bicentennial Quarter and Rare Dimes Worth $4 Million Dollars Each Are Still in Circulation

Recipe Notes:


  • Ghee is clarified butter and it’s the main fat used in Indian cooking. Sold in the international section of Coles and other major Australian supermarkets. Otherwise, use equal parts butter + vegetable oil.


  • The green chillies sold at supermarkets in Australia are cayenne green chillies.


  •  Curry leaves really add an extra something-something to curries. Find them in the fresh herb section of Australian supermarkets or find dried in the dried herbs and spice section.


  •  LENTILS: I use chana dal here for its shape and texture – sold in the international section of some Coles supermarkets. Any yellow dal such as chana dal, toor dal or moong dal can be used in this recipe.


  • If you cannot get hold of chana dal, yellow split peas are a terrific substitution but only use 3 cups of water and cook for 40 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.


  • For toor dal, only use 3 cups of water and cook per recipe times.


  • All other lentils – follow the Yellow Split Pea directions above, then at the end of the cook time, you might need to add more water and/or cook for longer.


  • This recipe is not suited to puye lentils, or other teeny tiny lentils. Anything shaped like yellow split peas should be fine.


  • shallots are the small onions that are finer than normal onions. The white part of green onions/scallions/shallots will be fine, or even 1/4 of a normal onion.





    Jasmine Gomez is the Wishes Editor at Birthday Stock, where she cover the best wishes, quotes across family, friends and more. When she's not writing for a living, she enjoys karaoke and dining out more than she cares to admit. Who we are and how we work. We currently have seven trained editors working in our office to produce top-notch content that you can rely on. All articles are published according to the four-eyes principle: After completion of the raw version, the texts are checked by (at least) one other editor for orthographic and content accuracy.

Leave a Comment