Hearty Dal Tadka


Within a week we are moving to a new house and you might assume that I am very busy filling boxes. But no, as often when there’s a deadline coming up tend I cook instead. I am not sure but it seems that every time something important needs to be done I suddenly have an urge to cook. Not saying I’m always falling for it but the kitchen clearly becomes even more appealing.

Since we are moving we are trying our best to empty our pantry. I normally keep tons of open packages filled with grains and pulses. One of my favourite dishes happens to be dal which means that many of the packages are full of different dals and lentils. For me a hearty, creamy dal is the best comfort food and also the thing I most often cook when the fridge is empty.

This recipe for Hearty Dal Tadka is my favourite. It is a recipe that has developed over time and that has been improved over and over again. Today I feel pretty curtain to say that it won’t get any better than this. I don’t know why I haven’t shared this recipe before since we eat some version of it every week. Hearty Dal Tadka tastes great together with rice or some chapati (Indian flat-bread) but you could also serve it on its own. No matter how, it will taste great!

These recipes for Fermented Lime Pickles and Fresh Green Chutney are a perfect match for this dish.


Hearty Dal Tadka


  • 150 g red lentils
  • 150 g mung dal / moong dal (could be replaced with red lentils if not found)
  • 7 dl water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds /kalonji (could be replaced with whole cumin seeds if not found)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar / white wine vinegar
  • 8 tbsp vegetable oil
  • a big handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt


1. Rinse the red lentils and mung dal and place it in a sauce pan. Add water, turmeric and 1 tsp oil. Cook it for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Set aside.

2. Chop the garlic and dice the tomatoes. Heat the oil. Add the garlic, nigella seeds, cumin, coriander and paprika. Fry briefly and then add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes has softened you add all of it to the cooked lentils and mung dal.

3. Finally you stir in the garam masala, chopped fresh cilantro, salt and vinegar. Enjoy!




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