Dhal (Masoor Tadka)

15 Mar

This is my version of the classic Indian dish of red lentils seasoned with fried garlic and spices. It is simple, savory and delicious and one of my very favourite Indian foods. I love it with freshly cooked chapatis and some chutney or as a side to almost any other Indian dish. Masoor is the Indian name for the small reddish orange split lentils most commonly found in European markets. Tadka or Tarka means tempered or fried and it is the addition of hot fried spices that makes this dish so special. The lentils are cooked simply with fresh green chillis and turmeric then the spices are fried in oil and stirred, while hot, into the dal to create a wonderful aromatic vegetarian dish.

  • 1 cup red hulled split lentils
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 large green chillis

Final fry

  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 3 hot dry chillis
  • 10 curry leaves
  • pinch asafoetida

Wash the lentils and put into a roomy pan with the water, add the chillis that have been cored and sliced and the turmeric. Cover and cook for 30- 40 minutes until the lentils are soft, bash with a potato masher if you want a smooth dal and season with salt to taste. In a small frying pan heat some vegetable oil or ghee and throw in the garlic, when it begins to colour throw in the cumin, dry chillis and curry leaves fry for a minute then throw in the asafoetida and immediately pour the hot oil and spices into the lentils, stir quickly, cover and let the flavours infuse before serving. Serve scattered with some fresh coriander leaf.


One Response to “Dhal (Masoor Tadka)”


  1. Spicy Green Beans « Kitchen Garden Recipes - 21/08/2012

    […] coconut. It is so simple to make yet tastes so good. A nice dry and spicy vegetable dish to go with dhal and Chapatis or […]

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