Dhaba Dal Tadka Image

Dhaba Dal Tadka

Tempered yellow pigeon pea dal

North, South, east or West…. Dal is essential on the Indian table! The tempering too differs from region to region. While in some regions, curry leaves and mustard seeds are essential, in some places onions and tomatoes are used, cumin and asafetida or some wouldn’t miss the whole red chilies and garlic! Here is how some families would do it!


  • 1 cup arhar/toor/pigeon pea dal
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2tbsp desi ghee
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp red chili powder,
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • A pinch asafetida
  • Finely chopped coriander to garnish
  • Lemon wedges to serve


  1. Wash and soak the dal for 20 minutes.
  2. Drain and pressure cook the dal with 3 cups water, turmeric powder and salt to taste till well cooked.
  3. Mash the cooked dal with the back of a ladle.
  4. Heat the ghee in a pan.
  5. To moderately hot ghee, add the asafetida and cumin seeds.
  6. Allow the cumin seeds to splutter and add the finely chopped garlic.
  7. As the garlic turns a light golden, add the finely chopped onions, a pinch of salt and cook on medium low heat till the onions turns golden. Stir occasionally.
  8. Add the red chili powder, 2tbsp water and mix well.
  9. Cook till the ghee separates out from the water and pour the tempering over the dal.
  10. Stir the tempering in. garnish with finely chopped coriander and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
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