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Masoor Daal Tadka

Indian red lentils dal
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 250 gm red Lentils or Masoor daal
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato finely diced
  • 2 green chilli chopped with seeds
  • 5 tbsp sunflower oil divided
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds divided
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida / hing
  • 2 dried red chilli optional
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder optional
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 15 g coriander chopped


  • Wash the lentils under running water for a couple of times and let it soak with water for 30 mins to ensure faster cooking and better digestion.
  • Meanwhile chop the onion, tomato, green chilli. In a pan add 2-3 tbsp oil and warm it up. Add ½ tsp cumin seeds and let it sizzle for a few seconds, follow this with chopped onion. Cook it for 5 mins on medium flame, till you see onions turn golden brown.
  • Add 1 tsp of salt and turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and green chilli to the pan and cook it for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Now add the red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and stir well. Keep cooking it on a medium flame for 2 more minutes and then add the chopped tomato. Cook the tomatoes for 5 more mins and they will start turning soft.
  • Add the soaked lentils to the pan without the water used for soaking. Mix everything well. Add 240 ml water to the pan and increase the flame. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for a minute. Lower the heat, cover the pan and let it cook on a medium to low heat for 20 mins. Check on it occasionally and give it a stir.
  • After 20 - 25 mins, you will see the lentils have cooked really well and have thickened. Add the garam masala to the pan and mix well. Add 240 ml water to give a thinner consistency to the daal. Let it simmer without the pan cover.
  • Meanwhile grab another tiny pan for the tempering. In the pan add remaining oil, and once warm enough add the cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Follow it up within a min with dried red chilli and some chilli powder (both optional). This step should take 3 mins and add this to the daal.
  • Give it a good mix. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed. Add 1 tsp sugar and some fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve this with steamed rice or chapati (page xxx) and with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon. Enjoy!