Dal Tadka (Tempered Lentil Soup) Dal Tadka is a popular north Indian tempered lentil soup, prepared from mixed lentils with added Tadka, also known as Chaunk, Baghar or Tempering,on top. Lentils are a ready source of protein, especially for vegetarians, and an important part of Indian cuisine. They are regularly eaten with rice and vegetables, in south India; and with both rice and roti–whole wheat flatbread, throughout north India.
Ingredients for Dal Tadka
- 1½ cups Split Arhar Lentils (Arhar Dhuli)
- ½ cup Split Masoor Lentils (Masoor Dhuli)
- 8 cups Hot Tap Water (reduces cooking time)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (Jaitoon Ka Tel)
- 1 medium Onion (Pyaz)–finely chopped
- 1 big Clove Garlic (Lehsun)–grated
- 1 medium Tomato (Timatar)–finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Minced Ginger and Green Chili (Adrak-Hari Mirch)
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
- 2 teaspoons Salt (Namak)
- 2 tablespoons Chopped Cilantro (Hara Dhaniya)
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil (Jaitoon Ka Tel)
- Pinch of Asafoetida (Heeing) (Optional)
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Zeera)
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
- ½ teaspoon Red Chili Powder (Lal Mirch)
- ½ teaspoon Mango Powder (Amchoor)
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 70 minutes | Inactive Time: 15 minutes
How to cook Dal Tadka
- Mix the lentils in a bowl and rinse them in water, 3-4 times, or until the water is clear. Then, soak them in 8 cups of water for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
- Add onions, and sauté, for 5 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Add garlic, and sauté for another minute, then add tomatoes, ginger-green chili, turmeric, and salt, and sauté for 5 more minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
- Add soaked lentils, along with the soaking water, and stir well. 67 Increase the heat to medium-high, until water comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium; cover and cook for 60 minutes, or until lentils are soft and soup is thicker. Stir occasionally to form even consistency.
- Check the seasoning, and add more as needed. Then, add cilantro, and mix again, and transfer the lentil soup into a serving dish.
Plain Tempering –Sada Chaunk:
- Heat oil in a small pan, over medium heat. Add asafoetida, and let it sizzle, then add cumin seeds, and let them crackle. Add turmeric, red chili powder, and mango powder, then give a quick swirl, and pour over the lentil soup. It should have a sizzling sound. Serve hot Dal Tadka with fresh tava roti, or plain rice, accompanied with roasted papadam, and tomato chutney.
- Note: Use of asafoetida, in preparing the soup and tempering, helps to release gas caused by lentils, because they are rich in carbohydrates.
Variations in Dal Tadka
- Cook with onions and add tomato tempering.
- Cook with tomatoes and add onion tempering.
- Cook with garlic and add tomato-onion tempering.
- Cook plain lentils, and add onion, garlic, and tomato tempering.
- Garnish with lemon juice for some extra freshness, and flavor.
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