Yellow Dal / Dal Tadka Recipe / Dal Fry Recipe / How to Make Dal - Edible Garden (2024)

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How to make Dal Tadka (Dal Fry)

Dal tadka or dal tarka is one of the easiest and most popular dal recipes in India. It’s usually made with masoor or toor dal and mashed up with rice to make an easy and tasty meal that’s rich in protein and carbs. While every household makes dal tadka differently, the basic ingredients remain the same – dal cooked and mashed, spices added, and tempered. The tempering is the most important part and even lends name to the dish – tadka means tempering in Hindi.

While this is not a very popular style of making dal in Kerala, I figured this is useful for those who are away from home and looking for a simple dal recipe to satisfy their cravings and comfort their homesickness.

Yellow Dal / Dal Tadka Recipe / Dal Fry Recipe / How to Make Dal - Edible Garden (1)Pin
I had used the pictures of this recipe for one of my photography series posts – angles in food photography. Like I mentioned in that post, sometimes the simplest of dishes can make a great meal, like we enjoyed that weekend. I just wanted to jot down the recipe here for those of you looking for a comforting bowl of yellow dal for your dal chawal.

You may also want to check out other popular dal recipes like jeera dal, dal panchratan, and dal makhani. Browse all dal recipes here.

Yellow Dal / Dal Tadka / Dal Fry / How to Make Dal

Ingredients for Dal Tadka:

Toor dal – 1 cup

(you can also use masoor dal / red lentils)

Tomato – 1, cubed

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Asafoetida / hing – a pinch

Amchoor / dry mango powder – 1/2 tsp

(if you want it tangy)

Sugar – a pinch (optional)

Salt –to taste

For Tempering:

Onion – 1/4 cup, chopped fine

Garlic – 3 pods crushed (optional)

Jeera / cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Dry red chillies – 3 to 4, halved

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Oil – 2 tsp

For Garnishing:

Chopped fresh coriander leaves (optional)

How to make Dal Tadka:

1. Pressure cook the dal, tomatoes and turmeric powder with 3 cups water. I cook it usually for 4 whistles since it takes longer to cook dal in Singapore. 3 whistles should usually be enough. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook in a closed, thick-bottomed pan for about 20-30 mins until the dal is cooked soft.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the ingredients for tempering. Once the mustard seeds start to pop and the onions turn transparent, add the cooked dal.

3. Next, add salt, hing, sugar and amchoor and mix well. If the dal is too thick, add some water. If too watery, let it remain on fire for longer until the desired consistency is reached.

4. Garnish wtih coriander leaves and serve with steamed white rice, papad and pickles. YUM!


You will see that a lot of ingredients I add are optional. This is because the basic yellow dal recipe is plain and simple with minimum flavours. Customize according to your taste and use just the bare minimum ingredients. It tastes great any which way. Serve hot with rice and and a dollop of ghee.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Yellow Dal / Dal Tadka Recipe / Dal Fry Recipe / How to Make Dal - Edible Garden (3)RMC

    dh just bought me an instant pot pressure cooker. so i took to the web for recipes and found your blog. i’m super excited to try several of your recipes. but, also nervous. i’m not a cook. my pressure cooker is not yet my friend and it doesn’t whistle. i have no idea how long to pressure cook things in whistling time! is 3 whistles 10 minutes? 20? is it possible to include “real time” and whistle time? 🙂 thanks so much for sharing your recipes.


    • Yellow Dal / Dal Tadka Recipe / Dal Fry Recipe / How to Make Dal - Edible Garden (4)nags

      That’s a great suggestion! Congratulations on your new pressure cooker 🙂 The time for 1 whistle will depend on multiple factors like size of pressure cooker and the intensity of heat being used. In that sense, giving whistling time is not a good measure of time at all. I’d say it’s safe to go with 1 whistle = 7 minutes.


  2. Yellow Dal / Dal Tadka Recipe / Dal Fry Recipe / How to Make Dal - Edible Garden (5)Anonymous

    Wow! Tat was an awesome dish. I tried it today and everyone liked it 🙂 Thanks for sharing Nags.


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Yellow Dal / Dal Tadka Recipe / Dal Fry Recipe / How to Make Dal - Edible Garden (2024)


What is the difference between yellow dal tadka and dal fry? ›

What is the difference between dal fry and dal tadka? Dal fry is when you add cooked dal to the sautéed/ fried masala & simmered for a short time. Dal tadka is when you pour tadka (tempering) over cooked spiced dal & no further cooking is done.

What is yellow dal tadka made of? ›

Out of moong dal, chana dal, masoor dal and toovar dal, you can take any one dal or any combination of it in this recipe. However, make sure that their total quantity is 1 cup. Ghee is used for a nice flavor and this is what makes it so popular. However, you can also use butter or oil as its replacement.

What is yellow dal called at Indian restaurant? ›

Yellow Lentils of any type are referred to as dal tadka. It can be entire or split and can have or not have the skin. Dal tadka may be made using a variety of lentils, but the most popular variation utilises toor dal, commonly known as arhar dal or split pigeon peas in English.

What is the difference between dal fry and dal makhani? ›

dal makhani uses a darker lentils brown and lack lentils, and is cooked with a heavy dose of butter making it thick and creamy, rajma (kidney beans are sometimes added to it as well). It is a rich Punjabi Veg Delicacy. Dal fry involves the lentils being fried before stewing them.

Which is more tasty Dal Fry or dal tadka? ›

3. Dal Tadka: Dal Tadka is similar to Dal Fry in terms of preparation but has an added element of smoky flavor. It typically uses yellow lentils (moong dal) or red lentils (masoor dal).

Which dal is most delicious? ›

Masoor Dal (Red Lentils): Cooks quickly and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas): Has a mild, nutty flavor and is commonly used in South Indian cuisine. Moong Dal (Split Yellow Lentils): Has a mild and slightly sweet flavor. It is often used in soups and stews.

Is Dal Fry and Dal Tadka same? ›

I've inferred that dal fry is when one tempers first and adds the dal second and dal tarka is when one boils the dal first and tempers at the end. However, I've seen North Indian/Pakistani food bloggers using the terms dal tarka and dal fry interchangeably to describe both methods of cooking.

Is yellow tadka dal healthy? ›

But it is health. It's an excellent source of iron, magnesium, B vitamins, zinc and potassium. So it's good to include it as part of a healthy diet. And if you're looking to pack in more protein just throw in some chicken breast into the dal and it's power packed.

What dal is Dal Tadka made of? ›

Tuvar dal – Generally dal tadka is made with tuvar dal or arhar dal also known as split pigeon pea lentils. In this post, I have shared the dal recipe made with tuvar dal. Moong dal – Even moong lentils can be used to make the recipe. At times I make this recipe both with tuvar dal and moong dal.

Which is the most eaten dal in India? ›

The most commonly eaten dal in India is "Masoor dal," also known as red lentil. Masoor dal is widely consumed across various regions of India and is a popular staple in Indian households.

What is dal called in America? ›

In the USA, dal is commonly referred to as "lentils." Lentils are a type of legume, and dal is a dish made from cooked and spiced lentils, which is a staple in Indian cuisine. So, when people in the USA talk about dal, they are usually referring to dishes made from lentils.

What to eat with yellow tadka dal? ›

This dish is typically served with cumin rice and roti, just as I have done. Roti is an Indian flatbread that happens to also be a favorite of mine. Dal is a dish that is very simple but packed with flavor. To make dal, you cook lentils until they are soft and then you add in the tadka, to top it off.

Why does my Dal Makhani taste bitter? ›

If the curry is still too bitter, it is likely that the curry blend is too overcooked to be salvaged. Tumeric and mustard seeds both have a dry bitterness to them. This is probably where the taste you describe comes from. If you dislike it reduce or omit these two spices.

What are the three types of dal? ›

Let's explore some of the most popular types of Indian Dal and their regional names.
  • Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) ...
  • Moong Dal (Split Mung Beans) ...
  • Masoor Dal (Split Red Lentils) ...
  • Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) ...
  • Urad Dal (Split Black Gram)

Is Dal Fry good for health? ›

Dal fry is a popular Indian dish made from lentils, spices, and herbs. It is a healthy and nutritious food option, and it can be an excellent choice for people who want to lose weight if made with healthy ingredients.

What is Dal Fry made of? ›

Dal Fry is a delicious and popular Indian lentil recipe that is made with tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils), onions, tomatoes and spices. Relish this flavorful, mildly-spiced, creamy lentil dish with roti, naan or your favorite steamed rice.

What are the different types of yellow dal? ›

Did you know when a recipe calls for “yellow dal”, it can actually be one of 5-6 different types of lentils — moong, arhar, chana, urad, masoor.

What's the difference between dal and Tarka Daal? ›

In reality, Tarka signifies that the dhal has been tempered with a mixture of crisp fried garlic, onion and chilli towards the end of cooking, a process which adds a total flavour bomb to the lentils.


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