Tarka Dal

Dal is one of the most common cuisine in all Indian kitchens. Technically, Dal denotes simply a split pulse, but in India it has to encompass dried beans and peas as well as a thick purée-like stew or soup made from lentils – one of the most adaptable ingredients in an Indian kitchen.

Each state in India has its favourite selection of Dal, even though most common ones (like masoor, tur, urad, moong and chana dal) are used pretty much everywhere. Each of these dals are also prepared in different ways in different regions – while they all have an earthy creaminess in common, the fragrant tempering of spices used in each variety gives them distinctly unique flavours that simply cannot be compared.

Dal being an indispensable part of most Indian thalis; in this post, I will be sharing a procedure to prepare Tarka Dal which is also a very common yet a popular item on every restaurant’s menu.

Servings: 2-3 pax                            Time to cook: 30 minutes


  • Tur Dal – 1cup
  • Green chilli – 1 or 2 (chopped)
  • Onion – 1 medium size (chopped)
  • Tomato – 2medium size (chopped)
  • Ginger – ½ inch (grated)
  • Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala – ¼ teaspoon
  • Water – 2.5 cup for pressure cook
  • Kasuri Methi (dry) – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt according to taste

Ingredients for Tarka:

  • Ghee or oil – 1.5 table spoon
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic – 4-5 chopped fine
  • Dry red chillies – 2 to 3
  • Hing – 1/8 teaspoon or 1 prick
  • Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon

Preparation of Dal

  1. Rinse the dal and add them to the pressure cooker.

2. Add chopped onion, tomato, green chilli, ginger, turmeric powder and salt.

3. Pour 2.5 cups of water.

4. Pressure cook the dal about 7 to 8 whistles or more till they become soft. Mash the dal with the spoon. (if dal looks thick then you may add some water to get medium consistency.)

5. Once the desired consistency is reached. Add garam masala powder, crushed kasuri methi, chopped coriander leaves. Now switch off the fire.

6. Mixed well so that everything combines properly.

Preparation of tempting Tarka:

Tarka is used to add some spices to enhance the flavour of the dish and add some medicinal properties of the spices.

1. Heat ghee or oil in a small pan. First add cumin seeds and crackle them.(don’t burn them)

2. Add dry red chillies, hing and chopped garlic let the garlic brown and the red chillies change colour.

3. Add red chilli powder, stir and switch off the stove. (fry all the ingredients on low flame , so that they can’t burn.)

4. Pour all the tadka into the dal.


How to serve:    

Once your Tarka & Dal are ready to serve, you may mix the Tarka with the Dal and server in the bowls or to present it better put Dal in bowl and add Tarka on top of it for it to look better and don’t forget to add coriander leaves on the top as well.

Tarka Dal always tastes best when serves with hot jeera rice or with Laccha Paratha.


Healthy Tip:

Dal is rich in protein and Tarka makes it good for digestion as it contains different herbs & spices.

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