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Tadka Daal

Tadka Daal

  • Yield: 8 1x


Author: Michelle Minnaar



  • 250g (8oz) masoor daal/pink lentils
  • 250g (8oz) toor daal/yellow lentils
  • 5ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) turmeric powder
  • 100ml (3fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 60g (2oz) butter
  • 5ml (1 tsp) cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1 dried red chilli, broken up
  • 1.25ml (¼ tsp) asafoetida [optional]


  1. Mix the two types of lentils and wash them thoroughly in cold water until the water runs almost clear.
  2. Soak them in plenty of water for 5-6 hours or overnight. Ensure that the water is cold. When the lentils have almost doubled in size you can boil them.
  3. Place them in a deep pan to allow for expansion and add water up to 4cm (1½in) above the level of the lentils.
  4. Do not discard the water in which they were soaked. In fact, add any more water if required and add some salt and turmeric powder.
  5. Bring to the boil, slowly stirring from time to time so as not to let the lentils stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. If you get too much scum on the top gently remove it by skimming it off.
  7. Add the butter when the scum has ceased.
  8. When the lentils are cooked, remove from the heat.
  9. Take a deep frying pan or a small wok and add the oil.
  10. Bring the oil up to almost smoking point and add the cumin, chillies and garlic. Stir and cook until the garlic is golden in colour but not dark brown.
  11. Add the asafoetida as soon as the garlic is ready and remove from the heat.
  12. Pour the contents of the pan in one go into the lentils and stir well. It will sizzle with and steam so keep your face away whilst doing this.
  13. Adjust the seasoning and serve.


  • Remember if the daal is not to be eaten straight away you may need to dilute it when reheating.
  • Also, remember that daal is very high in protein and therefore attracts bacteria quite rapidly, which means care needs to be taken. You may prefer to refrigerate as soon as it is at room temperature.
  • You can also sizzle mustard seeds and raw channa daal (split yellow peas) along with the other ingredients in the tadka for a different flavour. Try it another time.
  • You may prefer to puree the daal to make it smooth. In that case make and add the tadka after you have pureed the daal.
  • The high protein content creates flatulence and gas in the stomach, which is why you have anti- flatulents like cumin and asafoetida in the tadka which help ease the suffering and the embarrassment.
  • Category: Side
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 278
  • Sodium: 220 mg
  • Fat: 18.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.7 g
  • Fiber: 3.7 g
  • Protein: 8.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 16 mg