dal tadka on a plate served with chapati flatbread

Dal Tadka recipe | vegan and gluten-free

Dal tadka recipe or yellow dal tadka is a simple and tasty lentil-based curry recipe made with Mung Dal Lentils and Indian spices. This vegan and vegetarian recipe is a restaurant favourite but can easily be made at home!

Dal Tadka on a plate

Dal tadka has become one of my favourite recipes. Ever since I tried it at our local Indian restaurant I’ve wanted to be able to create it myself. So after some research, way too many tastings of the dish from the restaurant I’m finally ready to share my version of the dish.

What is a Dal Tadka?

Dal is a term used in Southern Asia for dried, split pulses (lentils, peas and beans) that do not require pre-soaking. The term is also used for various soups and stews prepared from those pulses.

Tadka, means “tempering”. It’s the technique in which the whole or ground spices are briefly roasted in oil in order to release their flavourings. This technique is also very popular in Southern Asia. It’s often added to the dal to add flavour to it. It can be done either in the beginning or as a finishing touch.

Together these two components create a unique dish with the creamy dal and the spicy tadka.

Dal tadka recipe

What can I use in a dal?

The most common way of preparing dal is in the form of a soup to which onions, tomatoes, and various spices may be added. Depending on the thickness of the dal it’s either served with rice or flatbreads such as roti or chapati.

This vegan Dal Tadka recipe is:

  • Vegan and vegetarian
  • Healthy
  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Egg-free
  • Meat-free
  • Fragrant
  • Tasty
  • Delicious

Can the recipe be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze leftover dal so you can enjoy this dish whenever the craving strikes. If you freeze this recipe, it will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. When kept in the fridge, it will stay fresh for two to three days.

Can the recipe me made in an Instant Pot?

Yes, this recipe can easily be made in the Instant Pot. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time and water. I suggest reducing the cooking time to 10 minutes and use half of the water.

What you’ll need

Dal tadka ingredients

Yellow Mung Dal lentils – to make the creamy dal

Spices – You’ll need cumin seeds, turmeric, asafoetida, garam masala, dried curry leaves and Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

Vegetables – Red onions, ginger, garlic, baby tomatoes, red chillies and green chillies

Oil – for the tadka

Water – to boil the lentils

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1

Rinse the mung dal lentils under water until the water runs clear. Add them to a pot along with 1200ml of water, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp asafoetida. Boil for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked and have formed a stew.

Step 2

Heat 4 – 6 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan, add the chopped red onion and sauté until starting to soften. Scoop the red onion to one side of the pan and on the other side add 2 tsp cumin seeds. Fry them until they start to sizzle. Then add the minced ginger, pressed garlic, dried curry leaves and mix everything together.

Step 3

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and allow to simmer until the tomatoes have fully cooked about 10 minutes.

adding tomatoes to the tadka

Step 4

Before plating, add the Kasuri methi and garam masala to the lentils and give them a good stir. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes and then pour lentils onto a dish, scoop some tadka over and serve with rice or flatbreads.

For more delicious recipes check out these:

Moroccan Chickpea Tagine

Chilli Sin Carne

Easy Vegan Noodle Stir-fry

Dal Tadka on a plate

Dal Tadka

Dal tadka recipe or yellow dal tadka is a simple and tasty lentil-based curry recipe made with Mung Dal Lentils and Indian spices.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Comfort food, Dal Tadka, Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 417kcal
Author: Steina

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions finely chopped
  • 5 garlic clives pressed
  • 1 large thumb sized ginger
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
  • 5-6 dried curry leaves
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 3 small green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 300 g mung dal lentils
  • 1200 ml water
  • 4-6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse the mung dal lentils under water until the water runs clear. Add them to a pot along with 1200ml of water, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp asafoetida. Boil for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked and have formed a stew.
  • Heat 4 – 6 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan, add the chopped red onion and sauté until starting to soften. Scoop the red onion to one side of the pan and on the other side add 2 tsp cumin seeds. Fry them until they start to sizzle. Then add the minced ginger, pressed garlic, dried curry leaves and mix everything together.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and allow to simmer until the tomatoes have fully cooked about 10 minutes.
  • Before plating, add the Kasuri methi and garam masala to the lentils and give them a good stir. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes and then pour lentils onto a dish, scoop some tadka over and serve with rice or flatbreads.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 70mg | Sugar: 6g
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