April 13, 2013

Dal Tadka / Tarka Dal - Vegan , Jain , Saatvik friendly

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Tadka / Tarka / Chhaunk/ Thaalippu are various terms used to denote seasoning  or tempering which is added to a dish either just before serving or at the beginning before the actual cooking commences.

Ingredients typically used for tadka /tarka are mustard seeds, cumin seeds,dry red chillies,asafoetida,cloves,fenugreek etc. Every region has some additions or subractions to the ingredients which form the seasoning.South Indian cuisine has black mustard seeds,urad dhall and channa dal as ingredients for tadka while the North Indian cuisine uses more of cumin,fennel,cloves,bay leaves,cardamoms for seasoning.

Phodni(Marathi),Thallipu(Tamil),Oggarne(Kannada),Vaghaar(Gujrati) are some other terms which are used to denote seasoning/tempering.

Dal Tadka is a simple but healthy side dish cooked using a single variety of lentil or a combination of lentils with medium spices and then finally seasoning it with cumin seeds,asafoetida,red chillies in ghee.
A perfect accompaniment for fulka rotis,jeera rice ,pulav or even simple steamed rice.

A Saatvik version of Dal Tadka can be easily made by skipping the use of Onion and Garlic and follow the other method as is .

To make the Dal Jain friendly ,omit the ginger ,garlic and onions. 

Vegan friends can also enjoy Dal tadka by using cooking oil in place of Ghee /clarified butter.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30-40 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves : 3-4


3/4 cup toor dhall /split pigeon peas
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
2-4 green chillies chopped (adjust spice level as per your taste)
small piece of ginger chopped finely
1 tsp garlic paste / one pod garlic chopped finely
pinch of turmeric
fresh corriander chopped
For Tadka
2-3 tsp ghee / cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2-3 dry red chillies
pinch of asafoetida


  • Clean and wash the toor dhall.
  • In a pressure cooker,add the thoor dhall,onions,tomatoes,ginger,garlic,green chillies and turmeric.
  • Add sufficient water and pressure cook for about 2-3 whistles or until the dhall is cooked well and mushy.
  • Release the pressure and check for the dal's consistency.If too thick add a little water and adjust.You can decide what consistency you prefer. Add required amount of salt.
  • Prepare the seasoning using the ingredients listed under the Tadka section and pour all over the cooked dhall.
  • Serve hot with rice,chapati or any flavored rice.
  • Instead of using just toor dhall,combination of channa dall,moong dhall and toor dhall can be used.
  • After you release the pressure,mash the dhall with the back of a ladle or with a masher before adding the tadka.
  • Add just the necessary amount of water to cook the dhall,else it will be too watery.
**Photos and write up edited on 2nd Oct 2021


  1. We love tadka dal in fact our first order in any restaurant is this. Now I have a foolproof recipe to try out. Thanks. Archana

  2. Complete with that chonk,this tarka dal is perfect at any occasion. We had pursued with jeera pulao like you suggested.


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