Tadkewali Masoor Dal/Red Lentil Curry

Tadkewali Masoor dal is a simple Indian curry using masoor dal or red lentils with a seasoning/tempering (tadka) of onions and aromatic spices. Paired with any Indian flatbread like chapatti, naan, roti, kulcha or even a bowl of hot steamed rice, it creates a soothing warmth and comfort in your meal.

My pantry is always stocked with all types of dals and legumes and masoor dal is one of my favorites.  The red color of this lentil makes me feel I am eating something exotic, but it is just another simple dal. The funny thing is once it is cooked, it turns yellow!! Nevertheless, it is one of my favorite dals to make when I need something simple for my rice or chapattis.

You do not need to be a gourmet Indian chef to make any dal curry; the procedure is so simple. Just cook the washed dal (you can presoak them for faster cooking and save time), mash them well or leave them whole for a rustic look, and add a simple tempering of your choice.

The basic tempering I have used is just cumin seeds with onion, ginger, garlic and garam masala powder (you can use your favorite brand).  You can play around with any spice powder you have in your pantry to create different flavors in your dal.

Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves or even dried fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi (another favorite Indian spice I love), a squeeze of lemon or lime and tadkewali masoor dal is ready!

Hope you love my version of masoor dal and do let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

Tadkewali Masoor dal goes well with methi laccha parathas, mixed vegetable parathas or even bhaturas!

Other curries you can try are: Shahi Lobia Masala, Aloo Tikka Masala, Mushroom Matar Malai etc.

How to make Tadkewali Masoor Dal with Step-by-step Method:

  • Wash masoor dal well and place in a pressure pan (if you do not have a pressure pan, cook in a large pot with lots of water till soft and well cooked).
  • Add chopped tomatoes and about 2 cups of water.

  • Cook on high for about 2 to 3 whistles or until they turn soft and well cooked.

  • Once it is cooked, mash the cooked dal and tomatoes with a ladle or whisk.
  • Add turmeric powder, required amount of water and salt to taste, bring to a boil.

  • Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes
  • Meanwhile, prepare the tadka.
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil/ghee (use only oil for a vegan option; I have added a mixture of both).
  • Once hot, add jeera and fry till it starts to crackle.

  • Add chopped onions and green chilies; sauté for about one minute.
  • Stir in grated ginger and garlic.
  • Fry for a few seconds till the raw smell of ginger and garlic is reduced.

  • Add hing and red chili powder, if using and garam masala powder, stir gently and pour this seasoning over the simmering dal.
  • Mix well. Do a taste test and adjust the salt, if needed.

  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves or crushed kasoori methi.
  • Serve hot tadkewali masoor dal with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice.  It goes great with any paratha, roti, naan, puri or any other Indian flat bread.  It is heavenly with just rice too.

  • A  salad, Indian pickles or any stir fry vegetable or even just a salad on the side and you have a sumptuous, simple and comforting meal.
  • Enjoy!!!

Tadkewali Masoor Dal
Serves 4
A simple Indian dal curry with masoor dal, tempered with onions and spices; goes well with any Indian flatbread.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
150 calories
25 g
0 g
3 g
8 g
0 g
163 g
54 g
5 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
163g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 150
Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 54mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 25g
8%
Dietary Fiber 10g
39%
Sugars 5g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
19%
Vitamin C
130%
Calcium
4%
Iron
17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup masoor dal/pink lentils
  2. 2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  3. 1 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  4. 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  5. 2 green chillies, cut up or chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon each grated ginger and garlic
  7. ¼ teaspoon hing/asafoetida powder
  8. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. ½ teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  10. ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  11. Salt to taste
  12. 2 teaspoons oil/ghee
  13. Chopped coriander leaves or crushed dried kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves) for garnishing
  14. Lemon wedges
Instructions
  1. Wash masoor dal well and place in a pressure pan.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes and about 2 cups of water.
  3. Cook on high for about 2 to 3 whistles or until they turn soft and well cooked.
  4. Once it is cooked, mash the cooked dal and tomatoes with a ladle or whisk.
  5. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste, bring to a boil.
  6. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the tadka.
  8. In a saucepan, heat the oil/ghee.
  9. Once hot, add jeera and fry till it starts to crackle.
  10. Add chopped onions and green chilies; sauté for about one minute.
  11. Stir in grated ginger and garlic, hing and red chili powder, if using.
  12. Fry for a few seconds till the raw smell of ginger and garlic is reduced.
  13. Add garam masala powder, stir gently and pour this seasoning over the simmering dal.
  14. Mix well. Do a taste test and adjust the salt, if needed.
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves or crushed kasoori methi.
  16. Serve hot tadkewali masoor dal with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. It goes great with any paratha, roti, naan, puri or any other Indian flat bread. It is heavenly with just rice too. A salad, Indian pickles or any stir fry vegetables on the side and you have a sumptuous, simple and comforting meal.
Notes
  1. If you do not have masoor dal, you can use any lentil you have.
  2. Instead of garam masala powder, you can use any other Indian masala powder like curry powder, Kitchen King masala powder etc.
  3. Adjust the amount of spices according to your taste.
beta
calories
150
fat
3g
protein
8g
carbs
25g
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2 comments

  1. Kriska Marie says:

    I have come to love Indian food since I got here to Dubai. Indian curries and breads are my favorites. I never thought that curries are just easy to make. Will copy your recipe. Thanks for this! 😀

    Thanks for sharing it over at Food Friday. Hope to see you again! 🙂

    • Vanitha says:

      Thank you Kriska 🙂 Indian food is as complicated as it looks, just a play of spices; subtle change in added spices and you have a different flavor altogether!!!

      So proud to be part of Food Friday… see you there soon 🙂

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