How to Make Authentic Tadka Daal
Ingredients for Cooking Lentils
- 1 cup Tuvar Dal
- 1 or 2 Green Chilies or Serrano Peppers – chopped or slit Lengthwise
- ½ cup Chopped Onions
- 1 cup Tomatoes Finely Chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger Finely Chopped
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 pinch Asafoetida
- 2½ cups Water
- 1 or 2 tbsp Low-fat Cream
- 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves Chopped
- Salt To Taste
Ingredients for Tempering or Tadka
- 3 tbsp Oil or 3 tbsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 5 or 6 Garlic Cloves
- 3 Dry Red Chilies
- 1 pinch Asafoetida
- 1 tsp Crushed Kasuri Methi Dry
- ½ tsp Red Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper
Ingredients for Garnish
- 1 tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
Ingredients for Dhungar Method
- A small piece of Charcoal
- ¼ tsp Oil or Ghee
- Rinse the lentils and add them to a 3 litre pressure cooker. You can also cook the lentils in a pot. Just soak the lentils for an hour or two before you cook them in a pot.
- To the lentils, add chopped onions, tomato, green chilies, ginger.
- Add water. If cooking in a pot, then about 3 to 3.5 cups of water can be added.
- Add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix very well.
- Pressure cook the lentils for about 7 to 8 whistles or more till they become soft and creamy.
- Mash the cooked lentils with a wired whisk or with a spoon and keep aside. If the consistency looks thick, then add some water to get a medium consistency. Then simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Once the desired consistency is reached, add low-fat cream (optional), garam masala powder, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Switch off the heat.
- Mix well so that everything combines uniformly. Check salt before you add the tempering. If the salt is less than add more salt.
Dhungar Method (Optional)
- Next is the dhungar method of flavoring the lentils with the smoky fumes of burnt charocal. For this with the help of tongs or on a grill pan, place the a small piece of charcoal like shown in the stepwise photo guide in the post.
- Burn the charcoal till it becomes red hot. Please use natural charcoal for this method.note that this is an optional step and you can proceed directly to the tempering method.
- Place the red hot charcoal in a small steel bowl.
- Pour about ¼ teaspoon of oil or ghee on the charcoal. You will see fumes emanating as soon as you pour oil or ghee on the hot charcoal.
- Place this bowl on the dal.
- Cover the cooker or the pot with a lid and let the dal get infused with the charcoal smoke. Just keep for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Do not keep for a longer time as the dal may turn bitter. Remove the bowl carefully with the helps of tongs and cover cooker with a lid. Set aside.
Making the Tempering (Tadka or Chaunk)
- Next heat oil or ghee in a small pan. First add cumin seeds and crackle them. The cumin should get fried and not be raw but don't burn them.
- Now add red chilies, asafoetida and chopped garlic. Let the garlic brown and the red chilies change color.
- Lastly add kasuri methi and red chili powder. Mix and switch off the heat. Make sure to fry the tempering ingredients at a low flame, so that you don't burn them.
- Pour the entire tempering mixture into the dal.
- You can mix the dal or serve the dal tadka with the tempering on top it. Garnish it with coriander leaves.
- Serve dal tadka hot with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice (cumin rice) or with roti or naan or paratha.
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