Toor Dal

Toor dal or dal tadka is an extremely popular Indian dish, which is essentially lentil cooked along with spices. It’s a common dish in Indian households because it’s healthy, flavorful and most importantly because it is super easy to make. Toor dal is usually eaten along with white rice or any type of Indian flat breads such as chapatis, rotis or naan.

Any type of lentils are hard to cook; so pressure cooking them is the quickest and easiest way. It usually takes about 5-6 whistles to cook completely on low-medium heat. Soaking for about 30 minutes before pressure cooking is another way to speed up cooking of lentils. Continue reading if you want to know how to make dal tadka.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3


1 cup toor dal/ split yellow pigeon pea
2.5 cups water
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon tamarind extract
4 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons ghee/ oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera seeds
5-6 curry leaves
Asafoetida(hing), a pinch
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 dried red chillies, split into halves
Coriander leaves

  1. Rinse toor dal thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Into a pressure cooker, add washed dal, water, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, chopped tomato, garlic, tamarind extract and salt to taste. Pressure cook until dal is completely softened.
  3. Once the cooker depressurizes, mash/ whisk further break down the cooked ingredients.
  4. For seasoning, heat ghee/ oil in a pan.
  5. Once hot, add mustard seeds, jeera and handful of curry leaves. Allow them to sizzle and pop about 30 seconds. Then add a pinch a hing and dried red chillies.
  6. Saute sliced onions until transparent on low heat for about a minute.
  7. Add this seasoning to cooked lentils and cook for another 4-5 minutes on a low flame. If you want a soupy consistency, you may need to add more water. At this point, salt for taste and spice and adjust as necessary.
  8. Garnish with freshly coriander leaves and enjoy it with steamed rice or rotis.
Toor Dal / Dal Tadka
  • Tweak the quantity of each ingredient as per your taste and preference.
  • Toor dal can be stored in refrigerator for a day.
  • If you have enough time, rinse and soak yellow split pigeon pea for 30 minutes before pressure cooking.

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Rating: 1 out of 5.

Happy cooking and happy eating ❤