Dal Tadka is a popular Indian lentil dish brimming with spices and is the best wholesome comfort food. Lentils are cooked in aromatics and spices until creamy, then topped with a tempered spiced oil (tadka). This version tastes gourmet and rivals any Indian restaurant but is easy to make. Stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.
– Yellow lentils – Coconut oil – Yellow onion – Garlic cloves – Ginger – Serrano pepper – Curry powder – Garam masala – Ground coriander – Ground turmeric – Water – Kosher salt – Black pepper – Diced tomatoes – Cilantro
Add the ground spices and stir almost constantly for 30 seconds. Pour in 2 cups water to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Add the lentils and salt/pepper to the pan. Bring the dal to a boil, then partially cover the pan and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes, stir, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes, until tomatoes are broken down (fresh tomatoes need more time). At the end, stir in the chopped cilantro.
Before serving, make the tadka. Heat a couple spoons of oil up in a tadka pan or small skillet. Once shimmering, add the mustard seeds. Once they pop, add the cumin seeds. Finally, add the curry leaves and dried red chile peppers.
Pour the tadka over the dal and stir to incorporate. Garnish with more cilantro and serve warm!