Indian Dal Tadka (easy Yellow Lentil Curry)

3-4 Servings
1 hr

A delicious Indian dish made with lentils, spices and herbs.

A delicious Indian dish made with lentils, spices and herbs. Besides being nutritious, it’s a comfort food that’s easy to make! Dal tadka is a basic, yet popular dal recipe that is served in many Indian restaurants. The Indian dal can be served as a side dish together with rice or, if the dal is made with thick consistency, could be served with naan or chapati.

I lived for a number of years in India, and whenever I went to an Indian restaurant, dal was always my go-to dish. Of course there are many Indian delicacies, but I always made sure that dal was one of the dishes that I ordered.

For more information check the original Russian pelmeni post on my website

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram.

Tag @lazyhomecookk and hashtag it

Indian Dal Tadka (easy Yellow Lentil Curry)

Recipe details

  • 3-4  Servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 50 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info


For cooking lentils:

  • 200 gr toor dal split yellow pigeon peas - substitute with moong dal or masoor dal, soaked 1 - 2 hours
  • 1 L water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • For making dal base:
  • 25 gr butter/ ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 180 gr canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 pinch hing
  • 1 tsp methi powder
  • Salt

For making tadka:

  • 3 full tbsp butter/ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, minded
  • Pinch of hing
  • 2 dried red chilies (optional)
  • ½ tsp chili powder


  • Fresh coriander leaves


Soak lentils for about 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse them well in water.
In a deep pot, add 1 liter water to lentils and turmeric.
Cover the lentils and bring to a boil. When the water boils remove the lid or cover it partly and reduce heat to a simmer (low to medium). Cook lentils till they are soft, about 30 minutes*
Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds - toast for a minute (they should fry, not get burned).
Add chopped onions to the pan and saute until softened, about 3 min.
Add cumin powder, coriander powder, ginger/garlic paste, hing, chili powder and mix well. Cook together for about 1 minute. If more butter is needed, add.
Add tomatoes and cook together for about 5 minutes, till most of the liquid from the tomato has evaporated.
Add the garam masala and methi, cook for about 1 minute and remove from heat.
When dal is softened add the cooked spice mixture to the dal and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt.
Add a bit of water to get the dal to your desired consistency.
Now, start with making the tadka:
Take out a skillet, add 3 tbsp of butter/ghee and let it melt.
Once butter/ghee has melted, add cumin seeds - let it splutter
Add dried red chili (optional), garlic, hing, red chili powder and mix about 30 seconds till garlic turns light brown.
Pour tadka over cooked dal, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.


  • *Cooking time depends on the quality of lentils.
Lazy Home Cook
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!


Your comment...