Tadka Dall

Who doesn’t love a good dall?


We make dalls regularly as they are so healthy and also quick to make.  Some of you probably know that I have recently started to teach Indian Vegetarian cooking to adults  at a local college one evening a week.  All the lessons have been fun and as the students get to know me, they have been picking what recipes they would like to learn.  This week we made Tadka Dall and garlic and coriander parathas.  As a class we learnt quite a few new things.  The class was introduced to a selection of dalls.   Whilst cooking this dall, we learnt that if you didnot wash the dall well – it produced a bit of scum whilst cooking so my advice to you would be to wash it at least with three changes of water.   The spice they found amazing this week was Asafoetida.  I must say that the learners were all  keen to use this spice during the tadka stage.  I think everyone’s dall turned out really great.  The parathas were a bit difficult for them to roll out as everyone seemed to have brought in different makes of wheat flour.  One student brought in ciabatta flour mix and we decided to try making parathas with this mix!!  All that parathas turned out great too – even the ones made with ciabatta flour.

At the end of this recipe – you will see some of the fun we had in class.

Ingredients for Tadka Dall:

• One and a half cups dall ( we used Masoor ki dall – often called the pink lentils)
• 0ne and half cups of tinned tomatoes (crushed) or passata
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 3 green chillies – chopped (use less if you are not keen on hot food)
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery or sugar substitute
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 1 teaspoon ginger paste
• small bunch of coriander
• 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
• 1 teaspoon dried cumin seeds
• Dry red chillies (optional)
• 1 or 2 pieces of cloves and cinnamon (optional)
• pinch of asafoetida (optional)


1. Wash and soak the lentils for at least 10 minutes. The longer you soak it the quicker it cooks.

2. Drain the water and add the salt, turmeric, ginger, garlic and green chillies and stir. Add in the sugar or sugar substitute. Add two and half cups of water to the dall.

3. Let the dall cook gently until it gets soft. (should take 10-15 minutes).

4. Add the tomatoes, fresh coriander and lemon juice and let it cook for 5 minutes. ( Note: It will take longer if using fresh tomatoes).

5. Transfer the dall to a serving dish.


Now prepare for the tadka (tempering):

6. Heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and asafoetida. Once the mustard seeds stop popping – pour this “tadka” over the dall. (this process is usually done just before serving the dall). Stir well and serve hot.



What do you think of the culinary skills in the above picture?  BTW that’s Phil – teacher’s chumcha – I mean pet.

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