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Dal Tadka

Dal Tadka or dal fry is a popular lentil preparation which is enjoyed throughout India. Normally the dish is prepared using toovar or red gram dal; however it can be prepared using various other dal varieties like mung dal, masoor dal, channa dal. Either these dals can be mixed in combination or they can be used individually owing to one’s taste preferences. Dal tadka is one of the foods which is commonly prepared and served in Indian homes and restaurants. The seasoning and lentil or lentils used in the preparation of this dish may vary as per the taste preferences of an individual; but still it is considered to be a best comfort food at any given point of time. Today, it has become a common fixture at all restaurants across India. Many dal tadka recipe variants are popular throughout India.

Origin of Dal Tadka
Essentially of North Indian – Punjabi origin, dal tadka has become popular with all communities living across India. Perhaps this is one of the Indian dishes which crossed seas with the migrants and still continues to be an integral part of their food culture. The exact date of origin is still a major source of debate; but it has been an integral part of food culture for last many centuries, where the dish has been constantly mentioned in many literary creations of 19th and 20th century.

Dal Tadka Recipe- Prescribed Ingredients
Lentil or dal is an essential ingredient that is commonly used in the preparation of the dish. As said before, different varieties of dal or their combination can be used in the preparation of the dish. Following the requirements of regular recipe of dal tadka, ingredients like masoor dal (split red lentil)/tuvar dal (red gram dal), garlic cloves, water, turmeric, salt, etc are used in the preparation of dal. For seasoning, one needs to have ingredients like onions, chopped tomatoes, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafetida powder, fenugreek seeds, and dried red chili pepper.

Dal Tadka Recipe- Method of Preparation
The preparation of dal tadka is quite simple where dal is first cooked in pressure cooker or normal saucepan with garlic, cloves, water, turmeric, and salt. When completely done the dal is mashed with hand mixer and set aside.

The seasoning is made by frying chopped onions and chopped tomatoes with spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafetida powder, fenugreek seeds, and dried red chili pepper in ghee or butter. The seasoning is fried till the ingredients start emanating flavorsome aromas. The seasoning is then added to the dal and garnished with chopped parsley.

Eating and Serving Dal Tadka
The dal tadka is mostly eaten with plain rice, jeera rice or roti.