Restaurant Style Dal Tadka At Home

Restaurant Style Dal Tadka At Home

Posted on Dec 11, 2023

Enjoy Restaurant Like Taste at Home with Homemade Dal Tadka Recipe

Flavoursome, comforting, and delightfully Indian, dal tadka can bring a smile to anyone’s face. Dal is basically lentils, and tadka is the tampering made with oil or ghee and a handful of spices. The simply boiled dal is tampered with a mouthwatering tadka to make a star dish for any lunch or dinner table. People can’t resist ordering this dish when eating out or when seeing this on the menu at a wedding or any other function. But how do you mimic the same delicious taste of restaurant-style yellow dal tadka at home? And can you get the smoky flavour?
We have here a dal tadka recipe that will eliminate any need to visit restaurants for the rich, authentic flavours. Read on!

How to Make Dal Tadka?

Tear a piece of roti, dip it in the dal tadka, and enjoy or have it with rice. We will let you decide the pairing as per your preference and guide you through this quick and easy recipe.
Also, you can serve around 4 people with this ingredient list. 

Ingredients for Dal Tadka

For Dal:
Split pigeon peas or toor dal - 1 cup
Mix of toor dal (¾ cup), moong dal (¼ cup) and chana dal (2 tablespoons)
Water - 3 cups
Hot water - ¾ or 1 cup
Oil - 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons
Finely chopped garlic - 1 teaspoon
Finely chopped ginger - 1 teaspoon
Chopped onion - 1 medium piece or ½ cup
Chopped tomatoes - ¾ to 1 cup
Chopped green chilli - 1 piece
Turmeric - ¼ teaspoon
Garam masala - ½ teaspoon
Salt - to taste

For Tampering:
Ghee or oil - 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - ½ to ¾ teaspoon
Dried red chillies - 2
Finely chopped garlic - 1 tablespoon
Red Chilli powder - ⅓ teaspoon
Asafoetida (hing) - ⅛ pinch
Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) - 1 tablespoon

For Smoky Flavour:
Charcoal - a small piece
Ghee - ¼ teaspoon

For Garnish:
Chopped coriander leaves - 1 to 2 tablespoons
Lemon - 1 medium piece 

Step-by-Step Dal Tadka Recipe

First, we will cook the dal and then the tampering. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Cook the Dal
→ It is super easy and can be done in a single pot!
→ Rinse the dal with water. Rub the dal between your hands to ensure it is properly cleaned.
→ Pour fresh water and the dal into a pressure cooker. Add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chillies, and turmeric powder. Make sure to add salt. 
→ Close the lid of the pressure cooker and give it 3 to 4 whistles. 
→ Let the pressure drop. Then, open the cooker and check if the dal has become soft and creamy. If it hasn’t, put back on the heat for another 1 or 2 whistles. If cooked nicely, mash the lentils with a spoon or spatula
→ If the consistency looks too thick, add the hot water and adjust as you prefer. → Simmer it for 2 to 4 minutes after adding the water. 
→ Finally, sprinkle the garam masala and keep it aside. We do suggest a taste test at this point. 

Note: If you want to use a pot to make the dal tadka instead of a pressure cooker, you must soak the lentils for 1 or 2 hours before cooking. Add double the quantity of water in the pot and cover it with a lid while boiling. It can take around 45 minutes to an hour to cook the dal. Then, you can follow the same instructions.

Step 2: Smoke the Dal
→ We are talking about the Dhungar method here to smoke the dal tadka. It is optional but is quite easy and highly recommended. Here’s how you do it!
→ Heat a charcoal until it turns red, then place it in a bowl. Use a tong while handling the hot charcoal so there is no mishap. 
→ Pour ghee, and it will start emitting fumes. Carefully place the bowl on the dal. → Cover the lid of the pressure cooker and smoke for 1 or 2 minutes. Any more smoking can make the dal tadka bitter.
→ Remove the charcoal from the pressure cooker. 

Step 3: Get the Tadka Ready
It requires a few steps!
→ Heat ghee or oil in a small pan. Add cumin seeds and allow them to crackle. → Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
→ Add the dry red chillies, hing, and garlic. Saute the spice mix for a little. 
→ Finish up the tamper with kasuri methi and red chilli powder. 

Step 4: Tamper the Dal
Let’s complete the dal tadka! 
→ Pour the tampering into the dal and mix it nicely. Or let the tadka float on the top to create a nice show on the table and mix just before serving to everyone. 
→ Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon slices.

Some Tips to Enjoy the Best Dal Tadka

Keep the following in mind to make and enjoy the dal tadka whenever you want!
The consistency depends on your liking. However, if you pair the dal tadka with roti or some other bread, a thicker consistency will be better than when serving with any rice preparation. 

If you want a vegan option, skip the ghee, and you are good to go!
The tomatoes will add a nice tang to the dish. You can skip the lemon or vice versa. 


Dal tadka is often made in our homes, but this recipe can give a richer and more authentic taste. Adjust the spices, especially the chillies, to your tastebuds. Try serving papad, pickles, and raw, sliced onions with the dal to enhance the flavours even more!


1. Is dal tadka healthy?

Dal is quite healthy. Tadka doesn’t have many rich ingredients. You can always reduce the amount of oil to make it healthier.

2. Does dal tadka taste better with roti or rice?

You can serve dal tadka with both rice and roti. Try both and see which one you like the best. 

3. Can I use mustard seeds in the tampering?

Mustard seeds will give a nice, punchy taste to the tampering. Throw in a few curry leaves to complement the flavours.

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