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This authentic dal tadka is nutritious, delicious

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About Thomas

I write because I can type. I can type because I have a keyboard.

I am a new age Australian resident that is experiencing this new continent with a fresh set of eyes. 

I write on a wide range of topics. Well, I write on food. There you have it, I write on a wide range of food as well. 

Cheap, nutritious and comforting ... dal tadka is the near-perfect meal.

During my early years of work, I was always short on cash. Three meals a day would become two and by the end of the month, I'd be down to one with a lot of unhealthy snacks.

A vegetarian's delight.

A vegetarian's delight. Pic: Shutterstock

It was during one of my hunger pangs that I discovered the joys of dal (a dish made from lentils). This miracle dish is high in protein, low in fat and very nutritious. And the best part of it is that you can have it as it is.

Protein-wise, the combination of dal and rice can be all a vegetarian needs. Amazingly, this combination either by purpose or unwittingly represents a dish that’s nutritionally protein-perfect. The lentils in dal provide complementary proteins and some essential amino acids.

My favourite is the Dal Tadka which is not only good and quite easy to make.

For a serving of 2-3, this is what you need.


  • Yellow lentils 1/3 cup
  • Chickpeas 1/4 cup
  • Tomato 1/2 cup
  • Onion 1/2 cup
  • Clarified butter 3 Tbs
  • Dry red chili 2 pieces
  • Cumin seeds 2 tsp
  • Ginger 1 tsp
  • Garlic 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1.5 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt 2 tsp
  • Fresh coriander 1 Tbs
  • Method

  • Rinse the lentils and chickpeas thoroughly, then soak in water for 3 hours.
  • Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
  • Take soaked dal in pressure cooker and add turmeric powder and salt.
  • Pressure cook the dal for (3-4 whistles) and let it cool down completely.
  • Heat clarified butter (ghee) in a non-stick pan and once melted, add ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute until raw flavour of ginger is gone.
  • Add chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes until onion becomes golden.
  • Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomato softens.
  • Add red chilli powder and coriander powder in onion tomato and cook for 1 minute.
  • Season the onion tomato with required salt.
  • Now pour the boiled daal in a non-stick pan and mix well with onion tomato gravy.
  • Add water if required and let dal comes to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add freshly chopped coriander leaves and combine well with daal
  • For the tadka

  • Heat clarified butter (ghee) in a pan and, once hot, add dried red chili.
  • Add cumin seeds in the pan and let them fry for 2 minutes.
  • This is the tadka. Pour over the dal and you are ready to serve.
  • This heavenly delight can be had with some steamed rice or Indian bread. Enjoy!

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