Restaurant style dal tadka – yellow daal

dal tadka as made in restaurant
During this India visit, a lot of people I met had suggestions of what they would like to see on the blog. It was educational for me to listen to them and make mental notes of what I may have missed on the blog. It also gave me a perspective of how the name relates to the idea of what might be seen on the blog.
A sizable chunk of them wanted to see restaurant style dishes on the blog. A few wanted to see how I would make them if I needed it at home. Well, to be honest, I do feel restaurant style dishes should be the once in a way, treat yourself kind of one. I don’t really think it should be on a home menu and be called comfort food. But then there are these days when you really wish the restaurant walks home with a bowl of whatever you like…so I get it.
So here is my version of most popular one off an Indian restaurant menu, the daal.

 dhabha yellow dal tadka

The dal tadka

The simmering dal scooped over steamed rice is a highly popular lentil protein one to be ordered. The comfort of the yellow lentils, the warmth of the masalas are accentuated by the final Tadka (the tempered spices). This is dal tadka. In fact, many of us get a bit flustered while our experiments with restaurant style dal go on. Here is the secret, it is a mixture dal that give the dal tadka its most loved consistency.  The second secret is the tempered spices which release the aroma and the faint spiciness and tops the dal. The double cooking process takes longer than usual but it is worth the time.
Dal tadka
The dal tadka is, in fact, the simplest of most daal recipes to try. So don’t miss the try and let me know how it goes. Here is my ultimate secret, I hardly do a single batch of the dal tadka, it is always double and I freeze half of it for the day when I want the restaurant to walk into my house.
My legume love affair event
This recipe is added to two blogger initiatives. The recipe is added to MLLA, hosted by me this month. Initaited by Susan and carried forward by Lisa, MLLA has a collection you dont want to miss.
The dal tadka recipe fits perfectly with the #legumeaffair@HW.  Along with mine, here are the initiatives from the other bloggers of this team at the healthy wellthy facebook group 
dal tadka as made in restaurant

Restaurant style Dal tadka

Yellow split lentils curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Dish, sidedish
Cuisine diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Pressure cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people
Calories 190 kcal


to pressure cook

  • 1/2 cup split pigeon pea tur dal
  • 1/2 cup Moong dal split green gram
  • 1/4 cup Split bengal gram Channa dal
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 cups drinking water

for Masala base

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 medium red onion chopped fine
  • 1 large Tomato chopped fine
  • 2-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root grated
  • 1 green chill chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder

for tempering

  • 1 tsp ghee / clarified butter or oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli broken into bits
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida gum arabica


  • Wash the three dals and add them to a pressure cooker.
  • Add 3 cups of water and pressure for three whistles
  • Leave it to cool after rwmoving from the flame
  • Meanwhile, mince and chop the peeled onion, tomato, ginger and garlic
  • Into a pan add the oil and as it heats up saute the onions, garlic and ginger.
  • As they turn tranlucent add the tomatoes and cook further.
  • Add salt and reduce the vegetable base.
  • When the oil starts leaving the sides add the coriander and cumin powder and cook further ( keep stirring)
  • Release the pressure and add the cooked dal to the masala base.
    masala curry
  • Stir and mix well and adjust the salt
  • Simmer till the masala incorporates well into the dal
  • In a seperate pan add the ghee, cumin and red chilli bits
  • As they sizzle and heat up add the asafoetida and remove from heat
  • Add this tempering to the cooking dal. Remove the heat and keep covered for 10 minutes for the temepring flavours to infuse.
    dhabha yellow dal tadka
  • Serve garnished with coriander leaves.
    Dal tadka


Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 8gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 402mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 6gSugar: 3g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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The Girl Next Door
5 years ago

I love Dal Tadka! It spells out comfort food for the husband and me. Your version looks awesome – simple yet hearty and inviting!

The Girl Next Door
5 years ago

Your dal tadka looks so comforting, hearty and lovely!

Hubby and I would be happy with a well-made bowl of dal tadka any day!

5 years ago

Dal tadka looks just perfect… Light, soothing and yummy. Lovely share for the theme.

5 years ago

The Dal looks soothing . The comfort food in all households . Lovely share !

Poonam Bachhav
5 years ago

Dal tadka with jeera rice is favourite at my place. I do not add chana dal though. Would try making it your way next time Seema

5 years ago

Dal is one of the must have for lunch or dinner for all the Indians all over the world.. The platter is so inviting Seema with the beautiful colors.. An ultimate comfort food!!

5 years ago

definitely dhaba style. we had this during our trip to the North and it was lipsmacking everytime esp with the smoky flavours seeping thru. lovely colour and texture to the dish

5 years ago

Dal Tadka is all time favorite at my place. An absolutely comfort food. Yours is looking so inviting and so delicious.

5 years ago

Restaurant style dal tadka looks super inviting seema !! I most of the time love to have this at my place   Love the color of the dal here as well

4 years ago

wow, this is amazing… and the best thing about this recipe is you can cook daily, tastiest and healthy as well.. and you cooked so well… I will definitely be going to cook by following your tips thanks for sharing

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