How to make an easy-pressure cooker dal tadka (Indian dal fry).
A popular Indian dhal curry with mixed lentils. tempered spices
makes this ordinary lentil dish ideal for special occasions.
There are a few ways to cook dhal and knowing them can add variety to the way you cook it.
I’m saying this as a home cook who makes dhal curry four out of seven days a week because my family loves it.
In fact, one of the first recipes I posted on the blog, was the delicious Sri Lankan dhal curry.
Today’s recipe is another variation of cooking lentils, it’s an Indian dish known for its fragrant tempering and use of 2-3 lentils, known as “dal tadka”.
Why you should give”dal tadka”
Here are a few reasons why you should try making this delicious vegetarian dish.
1/The dish is made, combining two or most often three types of lentils with a tempering poured over the cooked dhal.
2/The Indian dal dish is useful when you want to replace your regular dhal to an elevated dish to serve your guests.
3/It’s budget-friendly especially when you have to feed a large crowd.
4/serve this vegan dish with any of the chicken recipes and flatbread recipes posted here and your simple Indian themed menu is complete.
5/Using a pressure cooker to cook the two different types of dal, makes it easy to reduce the cooking time of the dish to a 20-30 minute dish.
6/Even if the above details don’t impress you, the not so simple tempering ingredients, added to the dhal at the end should be temptation enough.
So for anyone who is not familiar,
what does “dal Tadka” mean?
Dal tadka refers to the tempering of aromatic ingredients in oil or ghee.
Once the tempering is added to the dhal, it takes on the flavors of the spices, making this Indian lentil curry to a restaurant worthy dish.
What do you call toor dal in
Toor dal in English is called pigeon pea.
I don’t have a pressure cooker, how
can I cook dal tadka over stove-top?
Soak toor dhal in water for 1-2 hours first, make sure that the dhal is completely submerged.
Once the dhal is soaked for two hours, you can cook the toor dal for 30 minutes like regular dhal curry or follow recipe instructions mentioned below.
Only, instead of cooking the dhal in a pressure cooker you’ll be using a regular pan for the whole process of making the “dal tadka“.
Kitchen appliances and utensils
used to make dal tadka.
A frying pan to temper the ingredients, pressure cooker to cook the dal.
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What’s the best way to serve dal
Dal tadka goes well with roti, chapatis, naan or any type of crispy flatbreads of your choice.
What other lentils can I use with
the combinations of masoor dal,
For the purpose of keeping the recipe easy, I am using two types of lentils but you can also add chickpeas for more texture.
If you do use chickpeas unless it is the canned version, you will have to soak the chickpeas overnight before adding the lentils to the pressure cooker.
You can combine toor dal with chickpeas as well but if you would really like to experiment use your favorite types of lentils to make your own version of this popular South Indian vegetarian dish.
More dhal recipes!
How to make easy-pressure
cooker dal tadka(Indian dhal fry).
Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.
Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
1 cup of Toor/ tur dal(split pigeon pea lentils)
1 cup of masoor dal(regular orange lentils)
2 and a 1/2 cups of water
1/2 an inch of ginger grated
2 green chillies chopped
2 medium-sized tomatoes chopped
1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/8 or a pinch of asafoetida
1/2 a teaspoon of garam masala
Salt to season
Ingredients for tempering
2-3 tablespoons of oil or ghee
1 teaspoon of fresh cumin seeds
7 cloves of garlic sliced fine
2 whole dried red chillies
1/2 a teaspoon of chilli powder
1/2 a teaspoon of crushed kasuri methi(fenugreek leaves, you might find the powdered version, I’ve also cooked without this ingredient)
A pinch(1/8) of asafoetida
Fresh coriander leaves(for garnishing)
Wash the two kinds of dhal (toor dhal and regular masoor dal), drain and set aside.
(If you are using chickpeas, make sure they have been soaked overnight before you add them to the pressure cooker).
Add the lentils into the pressure cooker then pour in the water.
Combine both lentils together, add ginger, turmeric, green chillies, tomatoes, asafoetida, garam masala and salt to season.
Place the lid over pressure cooker and cook for three whistles. Let out the pressure, uncover(careful of the steam).
Use a whisk or wooden spoon to break down the dhal. The result of this should be a creamy consistency with a few lentils holding their shape(try not to overdo this part or you might end with the lentils turning mushy).
If you find the dal mixture too thick in consistency, add 1/2 a cup of water to get the consistency right.
Season with salt and further simmer over low fire for 3-5 minutes. Set aside and move onto tempering the ingredients.
Tempering for the Indian dal.
Place a regular frying pan over low heat and let the pan warm, pour in the oil or ghee.
Add the cumin seeds, garlic, chilli powder, dry whole red chillies, a pinch of asafoetida, kasthuri methi and slow sauté the spices until they turn golden(under 5 minutes) and release their aroma.
Add the tempering to the mixed lentils while it is still hot and mix with the dhal.
Season with for salt and add if necessary, garnish the dal with some chopped coriander leaves.
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Tempering and cooking dhal tadka.
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Tempering and cooking dhal tadka.
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