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Dal Tadka (Restaurant style recipe)

Santosh Allada
Dal tadka which translates to tempered lentils stew is a North Indian style dal. The secret of Restaurant or Dhaba Dal tadka is the ingredients and process to make it. This recipe has all you need to match restaurant quality at home.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 5 people


To cook the Dal

  • 1 cup Toor dal
  • 1/4 cup Moong dal
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 3 cups Water more or less as required

For Dal Fry

  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 medium Bay leaf
  • 1 Black cardamom crush it lightly
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 inch Ginger finely chopped
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • 2-3 Green chilies as per your taste
  • 1 medium Tomato chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kasuri methi
  • 1/2-1 tsp Amchur powder
  • 1 cup Hot water
  • Coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste

For Tadka

  • 1-2 tbsp Ghee clarified butter
  • 2-4 Garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1-2 Dry red chili
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida hing


Cook the Dal

  • Wash both the dals thoroughly and add in a pressure cooker. Add sufficient water (I add twice the water of dal), a pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp oil.
  • Close the lid of the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is cooked soft. Switch off the flame and keep it aside.

Make Dal Fry

  • Heat oil in a pan or kadai. When hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, black cardamom, and dry red chili. Let the seeds crackle.
  • Add chopped garlic and ginger. Saute for 5-10 seconds. Do not let the garlic change the color.
  • Add chopped green chilies and onions. Saute on medium flame till they turn soft.
  • Next, add finely chopped tomato and saute till they become soft.
  • Add salt to taste, a little turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, kasuri methi, and amchur powder.
  • Add cooked dal and hot water. Give a good mix. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves and mix gently.
  • At this stage, Dal Fry is ready. The next step is to add tadka.

Add the Tadka

  • Heat ghee in a small pan or skillet. When hot, reduce the flame to medium and add chopped garlic.
  • Add cumin seeds and dry red chili. Let the seeds crackle.
  • Add asafoetida (hing) and stir well.
  • Turn off the flame and add red chili powder. Immediately add the tadka to the hot dal.
  • Restaurant style Dal Tadka is ready. Serve hot as a side dish with jeera rice or your choice of flatbread.


Dal tadka is a mildly spiced dish. You can make it spicy by adding more chili powder and green chilies.
The dal will thicken as it cools. Adjust the consistency as per your preference by adding more or less water.