Tomato Tarka Dal (Spiced and Seasoned Lentil)

I don't know why Dal tadka always makes me feel warm and cozy. Sometime when i am super tired this gives me hand. This is so delicious that i always make one extra serving :) 

It is a delight when had with rice, roasted potato and Mango pickle . Not to forget GHEE :) Love when ghee is drizzled and melts over the hot dal. It also goes great with



One of the best things about this recipe is with each variety of  dal you get new taste :) I Used Moong (Yellow split pea) and Masoor (Red lentil) you can go ahead and use your favorite lentil.

Preparation time:

5 mins

Cooking time :

20 mins with pressure cooker/ 40 mins with microwave & 1 1/2 hr on stove top.

Serves :



For Seasoning:

  •  Ghee - 1 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp
  • Minced Garlic -1 tsp (about 2- 3 cloves)
  • Cumin Seeds (Jeera) - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida / Hing - Very generous pinch
  • Green chilli - 1 slited
  • Dried red chilli - 1 

Other Ingredients:

  •  Tomato - 1 (roughly chopped)
  • Onion - 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Moong Dal (Yellow split pea lentil) - 1/2 cup
  • Masoor Dal (Red Lentil) - 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder - generous pinch
  • Lemon Juice - 1 - 2 tbsp's
  • Tamarind pulp - 2 tbsp's (Optional)


Before you start of with anything. Soak the Lentil (dal) in 3 cups of water. If you have time soak it for about 20 mins (its totally optional). If soaked the lentil will get cooked easily

Add turmeric and salt to lentil and Cook it in a pressure cooker / microwave or on stove top until its mashable

Meanwhile In a heavy botttom pan, melt ghee and season it with chilli's , hing, cumin seeds and garlic cloves. Then to that add onions and sautee until it turns pink. To that add the tomato chunks and saute for couple of mins until its are mushy. Now add salt to the gravy so that the moisture will come out quickly. Keep in mind that the lentil is salted too and adjust accordingly

Once the lentil is cooked mash and add it to the cooked tomato gravy and mix well. To that add tamarind pulp and cook it again until the gravy and the lentil blends well together.

Finally garnish with fresh lemon juice and coriander leaves. 


  • Ghee truly gives rich flavor. If you are not a ghee person can use any oil of your choice.
  • Adding tamarind pulp and lemon juice bring a nice tingling flavor to the dish.

Serve hot with Rice and Ghee :)

Enjoy and Happy Cooking !!