Tadka Daal (Tempered Lentil Curry)


Tadka Daal, also known as Tempered Lentil Curry, is a comforting and wholesome dish made from simmered lentils infused with a fragrant and flavourful tempering of spices and herbs. This Indian classic is a delightful blend of textures and tastes, perfect for a hearty meal.


Tadka Daal has a rich history deeply rooted in Indian cuisine. Lentils have been a staple food in India for centuries due to their nutritional value. The tempering technique, where spices and herbs are briefly fried in hot oil, is a traditional method used to enhance the flavor of lentil dishes. Tadka Daal is a favorite among households and is often enjoyed with rice or Indian bread, like roti or naan.

Preparation Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

30 minutes

Total Time:

45 minutes




  • 1 cup yellow split lentils (toor daal), washed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 green chili, slit
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the washed lentils, turmeric powder, salt, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and fully cooked. If necessary, skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the ghee over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dried red chilies, and asafoetida. Allow them to sizzle and release their aroma, which should take about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the finely chopped onion to the tempering and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  4. Stir in the minced garlic, grated ginger, and slit green chili. Continue to sauté for another couple of minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and mushy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle ground coriander and garam masala into the pan and stir well.
  7. Pour the prepared tempering mixture into the cooked lentils and mix thoroughly. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes to meld the flavors.
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 200
  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 10g

Enjoy your homemade Tadka Daal, a comforting lentil curry that’s sure to warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds. It pairs wonderfully with steamed rice or your favorite Indian bread.

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