We would come home from school to the smell of garlic filling the entire house.
My mom took Dal Tadka to a whole new level. I am honestly yet to have any yellow dal, home cooked or restaurant prepared, that is as good as what my mom makes.
My mom has a love for garlic which she has definitely passed on to me and my brother. She finds the perfect harmony between mustard seeds, jeera, ginger, and garlic and infuses the dal with such flavor that you can’t stop eating it and can’t stop craving it. She finishes the tadka with a sizzling infusion of garlic right at the end so the aroma fills the whole kitchen and the dish is just perfect.
It is now the dish I make most at home because it’s sooo healthy and I can’t get enough of it. I make a large batch of it along with any vegetable (you name it, gobi, bhindi, aloo, eggplant, a combination of any of them) and Monica and I are set for 2-3 days that week.
I know there are millions and millions of dal tadka recipes out there with so many variations. This recipe is pretty straightforward. It’s just about care you give to your onion, tomato sauteing, and getting the consistency right while allowing the dal to infuse with all the yumminess. I think you’ll find the recipe pretty easy and simple. We try to keep it as homely and as healthy as possible. I’ll make sure to get this proof read by my mom before I post it.
Mostly I’m writing this because a friend of mine is seemingly too lazy to look up a recipe on his own and wants me to send him what I do. Or hopefully it’s because he trusts me! :)
Let me know what you think!
- 1 cup moong dal (raw not cooked)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp of the chopped tomato that you’ll be chopping later (optional)
- w/ pressure cooker: put all the ingredients in, turn it on, wait around 10 min
- w/o pressure cooker: put all the ingredients in a smaller pot. Put the smaller pot inside a larger pot with around 5 cups of water. Put a lid on and let it cook for 15-20 min.
- 1 tsp jeera
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 5 indian/thai green chillies slit down the middle into 2 pieces length wise (none of that serrano pepper here, but fine if you reallllly cant find anything else use it)
- 6 cloves of garlic thinly sliced not minced. If the slices are too big you can cut them in half
- 1 inch knob of ginger cut into tiny matchsticks (this makes the ginger shine as you’ll have pieces of it in your bite. If you’re not a fan of ginger you can just mince it)
- 1/2 large or 1 small red/pink onion ciseler
- 1 medium tomato diced
- 1 bunch of cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp kashmiri mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (adds a bit of tang, I think it brightens it up beautifully)
- 1 pinch of asoefatida (optional)
- 1 pinch of aamchur (optional)
- saute mustard and jeera
- add green chillies, cook
- add ginger and garlic, cook
- add onion, cook, add a pinch of salt
- add tomatoes when onions are translucent. Cook with a pinch of salt.
- add cooked dal with some extra water. Make it more watery than you intend for the ideal consistency. (which I like to be semi thick so I can mix it with rice nicely)
- add the spices.
- let it simmer for 10 min. Stir often so the dal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
- adjust salt, spice, and add lemon juice.
Tadka is a basically a few ingredients that are sizzled in a small pan and added to the dish right before serving to infuse fragrance and flavor.
- 1 tsp chilli powder (a bit so its not too spicy)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp sliced garlic (my mom’s special twist)
- when the oil is super hot, add all the ingredients in.
- let it sizzle and pop for a couple seconds.
- While it’s sizzling, add it to your finished pot of dal and serve.
- of course this step can be completely avoided too, but it does make for a nice finish.
- I like to go ape shit with my jeera and mustard so I put around 1 tbsp to really punch the flavor through
- The kashmiri chilli powder is not too spicy, so taste to adjust color and spice.
- Now the type of onion is up for debate. I would definitely prefer making it with the super pink onions you get in India. However, nowhere in America or UK have I seen them in a normal grocery store. You only find them in the Indian grocery stores, so if you’re not going to an Indian store, pick up some red ones instead