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  • Writer's pictureArchana Menon

The Ultimate Comfort Food: One Pot Tadka Dal Recipe

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Hey there, fellow food lovers! Today, I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite recipes for those cozy winter nights or when you just need some comforting and low-energy food. It's my go-to dish when I want to feel warm and satisfied, and I'm excited to show you how to make it. Introducing: One Pot Tadka Dal!

A bowl of dal

Before I moved to the UK, I never really cooked much. But thanks to the wonders of YouTube videos and my mom's recipe guidance over video calls, I've become quite the kitchen aficionado. So, let's get started on this delicious dal adventure together!

Here's what you'll need for a bowlful of Tadka Dal

The Ingredients

  • 1 cup Toor Dal or Red Lentils

  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds

  • A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)

  • 1 Onion

  • 1 Tomato

  • 3-4 Green Chillies

  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 2 tablespoons Ghee or Oil

  • 2 cups Water

  • Coriander

  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds

  • 2 dried Red Chillies

  • 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil

  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic

Now that we have everything we need, let's dive into the cooking process:


  1. Start by rinsing and washing the toor dal (or red lentils) thoroughly in cold water. Give it a good three to four washes to make sure it's nice and clean.

  2. In a pressure cooker or electric cooker, heat a tablespoon of ghee (or oil). Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a moment. Then, toss in the onions and fry them until they turn translucent. Next, add the green chillies, tomatoes, and a pinch of turmeric. Sauté everything together for two to three minutes, allowing the flavors to mingle and develop.

  3. Time to add the soaked dal and water to the cooker. Also, sprinkle in the salt according to your taste preference. Make sure to check if it's the right amount for you, as everyone's taste buds are unique. Stir it all together and let the magic happen.

  4. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and wait for two whistles. If you're using an electric cooker, let it cook for approximately 12-15 minutes. While the dal is cooking, the enticing aroma will start to fill your kitchen, making your mouth water with anticipation.

  5. Once the dal is done, patiently wait for the cooker to cool down a bit. Then, open it up and get ready for the grand finale: the tadka!

Tadka (Tempering):

  1. Grab a pan and heat some ghee or oil. Personally, I prefer the rich flavor of ghee in this step.

  2. Once the ghee or oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, hing (asafoetida), and garlic. This is the most important and flavorful part of the recipe, so pay attention! Toss in the dried red chillies and sauté everything for a minute or so. You'll hear the mustard seeds start to pop, which is a delightful sound.

  3. When the garlic turns a lovely golden brown, it's time to pour this tantalizing mixture over the cooked dal. The sizzling hot tadka will infuse the dal with even more deliciousness and take it to the next level of flavor.

  4. Give everything a good mix, ensuring that the flavors are evenly distributed. Sprinkle some fresh coriander on top to add a vibrant touch, and there you have it—your one-pot tadka dal is ready to be devoured!

Serve it piping hot with a side of rice, and you'll be in foodie heaven. Trust me, this dish has the power to soothe your soul and warm you up from the inside out.

Dal, Rice and Roti

Now, it's your turn to try it out! Get those aprons on, gather the ingredients, and enjoy the delightful experience of cooking and savoring this amazing one-pot tadka dal. Once you've tasted it, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to let me know if it hit the spot for you!

Tadka Dal

Until next time, happy cooking and bon appétit!


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