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Tadka Dal (Spiced Lentils)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Meena, www.hookedonheat.com


  • 1 cup red lentils lal masoor
  • 1 tablespoon light cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 1-2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • finely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Boil the lentils till tender and set aside.
  • In a deep pan, heat oil and add in the cumin and fennel seeds. Once they starts to sizzle, add in the onions, chillies, garlic and ginger.
  • Fry of a few minutes till onions lightly brown, before adding in the turmeric and chilli powder. Give it a quick stir and add in the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start to soften, add in the cooked lentils and about 1-2 cups of water, depending on the consistency you prefer.
  • Season with salt, and let the Dal simmer for a few minutes to allow all the flavours to blend.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm.