Toor Dal

Toor Dal

Toor dal or dal tadka is an extremely popular Indian dish. It is prepared by essentially cooking lentils and tempering with spices and vegetables. This recipe uses toor dal or split yellow pigeon pea, but other lentils like moong and masoor lentils could be used too. Toor dal is a staple in Indian households mainly because of the healthy benefits of lentils. It is consumed usually along with white rice or any type of Indian flatbreads such as chapatis, rotis, or naan.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings


For pressure cooking:
200g toor dal/ split yellow pigeon pea
500ml water
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon tamarind extract
4 garlic cloves
Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

For tempering:
2 tablespoons ghee/ oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
Asafoetida(hing), a pinch
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 dried red chillies, split into halves

  1. Rinse toor dal thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Into a pressure cooker, add dal, water, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, chopped tomato, garlic, tamarind extract, and salt to taste. Pressure cook until dal softens.
  3. Once the pressure is released, mash/ whisk to further break down the cooked ingredients.
  4. For seasoning: Heat ghee/ oil in a separate pan. Once hot enough, add mustard seeds and allow them to pop, Then add cumin seeds and a handful of curry leaves, followed by a pinch a hing and dried red chillies. Saute sliced onions until transparent on low heat for about a minute.
  5. Add this seasoning to mashed dal, combine and cook for another 4-5 minutes on a low flame. If you want a soupy dal consistency, add more water, and adjust. Taste for salt and adjust that too if necessary. 
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and enjoy dal with steamed rice or rotis.
Toor Dal / Dal Tadka
  • Tweak the quantity of each ingredient as per your taste and preference.
  • Rinsing and soaking toor dal for 30 minutes before cooking expedites the cooking of dal.
  • Toor dal can be stored in refrigerator for up to a day.

If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!

Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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