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a 45 degree angle view of dal tadka in a kadhai with a spoon.

Dal Tadka

Indian style flavorful and nutritious Dal Tadka is deliciously tempered with herbed oil and perfectly spiced. It’s an excellent comfort food that pairs well with steamed rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword dal tadka instant pot, dal tadka recipe, dal tadka vegan, how to make dal tadka
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 219kcal
Author Gunjan


first tempering

second tempering


  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro


  • Rinse all the lentils together, toor dal, masoor dal and moong dal.  Combine them in your instant pot with water, turmeric powder and salt. Close the lid and seal the valve. Turn it on at high manual for 15 minutes. One done, release its pressure and open the lid. Stir it vigorously with the spatula to get a mashed look. You may use Indian pressure cooker also to boil the lentils. Make sure to give 3-4 whistles and let the pressure cooker release its pressure naturally. Open the lid and stir with the spatula vigorously. At this point lentils might have medium thick consistency which is fine.
  • In the meanwhile, in a nonstick pan heat 1 tbsp. oil and let cumin seeds crackle. Immediately add ginger garlic pasta and sauté for 30 seconds or until it starts to brown.
  • Sautee onion in it until golden and toss in tomatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes until all tomatoes are mushy. With the back of your spatula mash all the tomatoes in the pan and mix.
  • Add chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasoori methi and mix well.
  • Fold in cooked lentils into the pan and mix well until all the ingredients all well blended. At this stage you may add ½ cup more hot water into the pan and adjust salt as per taste. Let it cook covered at low– medium flame for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, In another small nonstick pan or any tempering pan, heat 1 tsp oil and add all the second tempering ingredients (Hing, dry red chilies, garlic, red chili, garam masala ) and cook it well for 1 minutes on a high flame until bubbles form. Turn off its flame.
  • Now, open the lid of the lentil curry pan and turn off its flame. Stir with a spatula and top it with hot tempering (second tempering/tadka). Lightly stir the tadka/tempering on the top of the dal so as to spread it well in it.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.


  • You may cook lentils ahead of time completely except tempering it for the second tempering and keep it at room temperature for 1 day. When ready warm the lentil. Prepare the second tempering and assemble as explained.
  • The leftovers can be refrigerated in a container for about 4-5 days. Warm it well on the stove top and feel free to add little more hot water while warming it if it gets too thick over time.
  • Whenever adding more water to cooked lentils make sure to add hot water for the best results.
  • Kashmiri chili powder is preferred in this recipe for the beautiful color. 
  • Instant pot option: Turn on your instant pot at sauté mode and heat 1 tbsp. oil in it. Add cumin seeds and crackled. Sauté ginger garlic paste. Then sauté onion until golden and toss in tomatoes. Cook until mushy and add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasoori methi. Now add rinsed lentils (Toor dal, masoor dal, moon dal) to it and sauté for 1 minute. Add water and salt and stir well. Cancel the sauté mode close the lid and seal the valve. Turn it on at high manual for 15 minutes. Once done, turn it off and release the pressure. Open the lid and stir. You may add more hot water at this stage and adjust salt as per your taste. In the meanwhile, prepare the second tadka or tempering in another small pan and top lentil curry with it. Garnish and serve.


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg