Masoor dal tadka, also known as red lentil dahl, is a flavorful and comforting dish commonly found in Indian cuisine. Here’s a simple recipe to make it at home:


– 1 cup split red lentils (masoor dal), rinsed and drained
– 3 cups water
– 1 medium onion, finely chopped
– 2 tomatoes, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
–  green chili, chopped (adjust to taste)
–  teaspoon cumin seeds
–  teaspoon mustard seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
– 1 teaspoon garam masala
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
– Salt to taste
– Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish
– Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)


1. Rinse the red lentils under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until they start to splutter.

3. Add the chopped onions to the pot and sauté until they turn translucent.

4. Stir in the minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped green chili. Sauté for another minute until fragrant.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook until they soften and break down, about 5 minutes.

6. Stir in the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala, and cook for another minute.

7. Add the rinsed red lentils to the pot and stir to combine with the spices and vegetables.

8. Pour in the water and season with salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

9. Once the lentils are cooked, use the back of a spoon to partially mash them to your desired consistency. If the dal is too thick, you can add more water to reach your preferred consistency.

10. In a small pan, heat a little oil or ghee. Add a pinch of cumin seeds and let them splutter. Pour this tempering over the cooked dal and stir to combine.

11. Garnish the dal with chopped cilantro leaves.

12. Serve the masoor dal tadka hot with steamed rice or naan bread. Optionally, serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the dal for added freshness.

Enjoy your delicious and comforting masoor dal tadka!


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