Dal Tadka – Masoor Dal(Lentils)

Dal is one of the famous Indian dish. It’s a staple food of India and every Indian home has their own recipe of dal. I would say it’s the best dish to make if you are beginner level cook or if you want to learn to make easy Indian food. I learnt this recipe from my mom who would make this dal in a jiffy. I began to call this dal ‘Shortcut Dal’ as you need to put most of the ingredients in a pot and cook. This shortcut version to cook Dal made by my mom saves time as well as impart a great taste.  This is my husband favorite version of Dal Tadka.

I remember when my in laws came to Abu Dhabi to visit us, my husband had complimented about the shortcut dal so much so, that my mother in law asked me to show her how to cook it. As a new daughter in law it was nerve racking to cook and show my mother in law. However, I did manage to hold myself together and embarrassingly prepared the dal. She watched the process and occasionally asked few questions about the taste of the dal.  I could see she was quite skeptical about the dal, but didn’t say anything about it. It was time for tasting and I was on pins and needles, but to my delight both my mother in law and father in law were impressed and loved the taste of the dal.

Every time I prepared the dal, my husband would ask me when I would be posting up the recipe about my shortcut dal. So after several reminders, I’m finally putting up the recipe. I tried to experiment with my mom recipe further to make it easier and to have less utensils to wash. Both versions you will find in this blog.. Do give it a try and let me know what you think about it.



1/3 cup of Masoor dal

1 large Onions (Chopped)

1 medium Tomato (Chopped)

2-3 Green chilies (slit)

½ tsp. Turmeric Powder

½ tsp. of Garam masala / Madras curry powder

Salt to taste

2-3 cups of water

2 tbsp. Oil/Ghee (Clarified butter)

1 tsp. black mustard seeds

1 tsp. of cumin seeds

10-12 curry leaves

5-6 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)

1 Kashmiri chilly (optional)

Coriander leaves for garnish

Version 1: My Mom’s Method:

Rinse the dal and keep it aside.

In a pressure cooker add chopped onions, tomato, green chilies, turmeric powder and garam masala along with the dal. Add salt and water

Mix well and pressure cook the dals for 2 whistles.

Tip: If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to let the pressure settle then cook for another whistle, and then let the steam out once you hear the 3rd whistle.

(2 Whistles when you have time to let the pressure settles that would take approximately 20-30min  OR  3 Whistles when you need to finish instantly.)

Open the cooker lid and check for the desired consistency before you add the tempering.

The tempering/tadka:

Heat Ghee/oil in a small frying pan.

Add mustard seeds and let it crackle, then add the cumin and curry leaves.

Then add chopped garlic, fry it till the garlic gets golden brown.

Once garlic browns then add red chilly wait till it sizzles a bit.

Then pour the entire tempering along with the oil/ghee into the dal.20170501_211311

Tip: You can mix the dal or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top it.

Garnish dal tadka with coriander leaves.

Version 2: My Method:

I use the same ingredients and measurements.

Rinse the dal and keep it aside.

Heat Ghee/oil in a pressure cooker

Add mustard seeds and let it crackle, then add the cumin and curry leaves.

Add chopped onions, chopped garlic, chopped tomato, green chilies, fry it for a minute.

Then add turmeric powder and garam masala salt and water along with the dal.

Mix well and pressure cook the dal for 2 whistles or 3 whistles if in a hurry.

Open the cooker lid once the pressure settles and check for the desired consistency.

Garnish dal with coriander leaves.

Serve Hot and enjoy with bread/roti, or some steamed rice or jeera rice.


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Hi, I'm Doreen Ivy Fernandes, I love cooking and trying techniques to make cooking very easy, tasty and interesting. I would like my readers to use some of my easy ingredients and techniques to get inspired to cooking new and different cuisines which they normally would not try to cook. If you have any questions or comments and would like to contact me, you are always welcome to email me at doreenivy25@gmail.com

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