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Dal Tadka Dhaba Style

My go to yellow dal tadka recipe that is authentic to every dhaba in India. It is a quick and easy delicious vegetarian dish served with rice or roti at home.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • Stock pot
  • Sauté pan
  • Stirring spoon


  • 3/4 cup Toor Dal
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 3-4 Red chilis
  • 2 tbsp Garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger chopped
  • 1 Green chili chopped
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Hing
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

To smoke:

  • 1 piece coal
  • 2 tbsp ghee


  • Fresh coriander


  • Jeera rice
  • Roasted papad


  • Start by soaking the dal in water for an hour. After soaking strain out the dal and add fresh water into a stock pot, add the dal and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Allow it to simmer and cook until soft. Should take 20-25 mins. Add more water if needed. While this is cooking prep all the ingredients for the tadka.
  • Once the dal is softened and cooked, the water should be absorbed. If the liquid is too much you can strain it out or else leave it in. At this stage you can blend the dal or leave it chunky. I like it chunky.
  • In a sauté pan add the ghee and oil, cumin seeds, green chili, ginger, garlic, red chili. Let this cook on low heat until browned. Add the spice powders, hing and cook for a minute. Pour most of the tadka over the cooked dal and stir together, season once more.
  • Serve in a bowl with the remaining tadka on top, fresh coriander and some rice on the side. You can also roast papad.


  • Let the lentils cook until completely softened before you start making the tadka mixture.
  • You can blend the dal before you add the tadka mixture into the stock pot for a smooth dal texture.
  • If you want the dal thicker leave it as it is however if you would like it thinner add more water to the dal before adding the tadka.