How to become addicted to Dal? Spend one month in India. ❤️ It is impossible not to fall in love with the creaminess of this curry and the explosion of spices. We are not exaggerating when we say that after eating Dal for the first time in Jaipur we could not stop! And from that moment we had to have at least one portion every day at one of the meals.
What is Dal?
Dal is an Indian lentil curry. It is very easy to prepare, delicious, full of flavours, not to mention healthy, full of protein, vegan and gluten-free!
There are many ways to write dal and all are correct:
red lentil dal recipe, red lentil dhal recipe, red lentil daal recipe, or red lentil dahl recipe.
And there are countless Dal recipes throughout India! The way it is prepared differs by region because there are different combinations of spices used. It can be served as a main course or as a side dish.
I tested several recipes to recreate that red lentil curry at home just like in India. And we find out that the most delicious Dal is when you temper the spices separately!
Below is the recipe for a Dal from northern India, respectively Dal Tadka. Tadka means spices that sizzle in hot oil and are poured over Dal. The hot level of the recipe is medium. So depending on your preferences, you can remove or add the spice.
Dal Tadka Recipe | Indian curry recipe with red lentils
|Servings||Preparation time||Cooking time||Total time|
|4||35 min||35 min||1h 10 min|
- 130 g Red Lentils (1 cup)
- Water to wash, soak and cook
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 0.5 – 1 tablespoon Oil
- (or 3-4 tablespoons Coconut Butter / Almond/ Veg Oil)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 4 pcs. Dry red chilli
- 1 tablespoon curry
- 1/1 tablespoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
- A piece of 2 cm Fresh ginger
- 5-8 Garlic cloves
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small tomato, finely chopped
- 1-2 pcs. Fresh chilli
- 1 teaspoon chill powder
- 1 tablespoon Coriander / Parsley (fresh or dried) leaves
Dal Tadka Recipe Steps:
- Wash the lentils until the water is clear and soak them in water for 30 minutes.
- Boil the drained lentils with about 1 ½ cups of water, salt to taste, and ½ teaspoon of turmeric. Boil the lentils 4 times and then left to boil for another 5 minutes over medium heat. In the end, mix quickly with a wooden spoon to break/grind the lentils.
- Heat the butter and/or oil in a pan. Grate the ginger, mash the garlic and fresh chilli. Add the cumin seeds to the pan, once it sizzles add the crushed mixture.
- Cook for 1 minute, add coriander seeds and dried chilli, cook for one minute.
- Add onion, tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until golden brown.
- When you’re done, add a handful of chopped (or dried) coriander, ½ teaspoon turmeric, garam masala, red chilli powder and curry. Mix well and boil for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked lentils and cook for 3-4 minutes. Make sure the dal is not watery, it should be very thick. Add 1/2 cup of water, mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Stop the heat.