Mildly spiced, tempered with red chilies and garlic flavored Arhar dal (Tuar Dal / Pigeon Pea Lentils) All Indians irrespective of their caste, creed, religions and liking have heard, tasted and made Yellow Dal Tadka at home. Yellow Dal Tadka is a quintessential Recipe of every roadside Indian Motels and Inns to the best of five star hotels. It is basically a curry – recipe of Arhal Dal (Pigeon Pea Lentils) which is one of the most “to be made Dal Curry every week” in every Indian Household in their own ways and flavors.
It takes about 25 minutes to prepare this Dal – Curry which would serve about 3-4 people. The best accompaniment to this dal-curry is plain white boiled rice or Tandoori Roti (Flat Indian Bread baked in clay oven tandoor). When you have people staying over after Diwali Card party or get together, please make this….they would come back for more.
Cooking The Dal:
- 1 cup Arhar dal – (measuring cup – 250 ml)
- 2.75 to 3 cups water for pressure cooking the lentils
- 1.5 tbsp garlic(lahsun) – if you like them otherwise look for dry red chillies
- ¼ cup finely chopped Indian onions (pyaz)
- 1 to 2 fresh green chillies (hari mirch)
- ½ tsp pounded cumin powder (jeera powder)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi )
- ½ tsp lemon juice (This is optional if you like more tanginess like street food kinds)
- salt as required
- ½ to 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (garnish)
For Tadka ( Tempering After Full Boiled Dal )
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic(lahsun)
- ½ tsp cumin(jeera)
- 1.5 to 2 tbsp ghee- clarified butter ( you might get the same on any indian grocery store)
- ½ kashmiri red chilli powder
- pinch of asafoedita (hing – this brings the most unique fragrance of Dal-curry)
- ½ tsp dry fenugreek leaves(kasuri methi)
For Making / Cooking The Dal-Curry:
- Wash the lentils thoroughly
- Slice the onions and green chilies along with some flakes of garlic.
- Now add rinsed lentils, onions, garlic, green chilies, turmeric and asafoetida in the pressure cooker and add water.
- Cook the lentils, till you get about 10 to 12 whistles. Now you have a smooth thick curry like look and consistency of lentils.
- Gently mash the lentils with a long spoon, be careful about hot utensil. When lentils become thick, now add some water and put it on flame. Bring it to medium consistency. Well the consistency depends on you. If you like thick then don’t add more water.
- Add some salt to the dal as per your taste and likings and keep it aside.
Tempering The Cooked Lentils (For Tadka)
- Heart the clarified butter (ghee) in a small round frying pan. Put the cumins first and let them crackle.
- Now add some garlic flakes and sauté them for few seconds. It gives a wonderful aroma to the whole preparation. I love this Indian way of browning the garlics. Please keep the flame at lowest all the time. Otherwise you would burn the garlics and cumins too.
- Once the garlics are light browned, put off the flame completely. And add whole red chilles, asafoetida and some fenugreek leaves. Stir it with some spoon gently.
- You might get some crackling sound from the mixture, now put the entire mixture over the prepared dal-curry and close the lid of the cooker. This way, lentils would soak the aroma of the tempering. After few seconds open it and stir it well.
- Add some chopped coriander to the dal before serving and you have an option to mix some lemon juice as well for some added tangy kick.
- Serve it well with Boiled rice or some Indian flat bread (roti). Your Diwali get together friends would have their plate full of this dal curry.
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