Tadka Dal and More: 9 Lentil Dishes Popular in Every Indian Household

Tadka Dal and More: 9 Lentil Dishes Popular in Every Indian Household

Tadka Dal and More: 9 Lentil Dishes Popular in Every Indian Household

Lentils, or “dal” as they are commonly known in India, are a staple in Indian cuisine. They are not only nutritious but also incredibly versatile, forming the base of many beloved dishes. Here are nine popular lentil dishes that are a must-try in every Indian household.

1. Tadka Dal (Tempered Lentils)

Tadka Dal, also known as Dal Tadka, is a classic Indian dish made with yellow lentils (toor dal or split pigeon peas) and tempered with a variety of spices. It’s simple, flavorful, and comforting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and water until soft.
  2. Heat ghee or oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  3. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the cooked dal to the pan and mix well. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

2. Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is a rich and creamy dish made with black lentils (urad dal) and kidney beans (rajma). It’s a popular dish in North India, especially in Punjab.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole urad dal (black lentils)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Soak the urad dal and kidney beans overnight. Cook them in a pressure cooker until soft.
  2. Heat butter or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the oil separates.
  5. Add the cooked dal and beans. Mix well and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add cream and garam masala. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with naan or rice.

3. Chana Dal Fry

Chana Dal Fry is a simple and nutritious dish made with split chickpeas. It’s often enjoyed with rice or chapati and is easy to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cook the chana dal in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and water until soft.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the cooked chana dal to the pan and mix well. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

4. Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal, or red lentil dal, is a quick-cooking and flavorful dish that is perfect for a simple meal. It’s often enjoyed with steamed rice or roti.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cook the masoor dal in a pot with turmeric powder and water until soft.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the cooked masoor dal to the pan and mix well. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with rice or roti.

5. Moong Dal

Moong Dal is a light and nutritious dish made with split green gram. It’s easy to digest and often served with steamed rice or chapati.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup moong dal (split green gram)
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cook the moong dal in a pot with turmeric powder and water until soft.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the cooked moong dal to the pan and mix well. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

6. Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry)

Rajma is a hearty and flavorful kidney bean curry that is a favorite in North India. It’s often enjoyed with steamed rice or roti.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rajma (kidney beans), soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook the soaked rajma in a pressure cooker until soft.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the oil separates.
  5. Add the cooked rajma and its cooking liquid to the pan. Mix well and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add garam masala and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roti.

7. Panchmel Dal

Panchmel Dal, also known as Panchratna Dal, is a mix of five different lentils cooked together to create a flavorful and nutritious dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1/4 cup moong dal (split green gram)
  • 1/4 cup chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • 1/4 cup urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/4 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cook the mixed lentils in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and water until soft.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the cooked lentils to the pan and mix well. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

8. Dal Palak

Dal Palak is a nutritious and flavorful dish made with lentils and spinach. It’s a great way to incorporate greens into your diet and is often enjoyed with rice or roti.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and water until soft.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the chopped spinach and cook until wilted.
  6. Add the cooked dal to the pan and mix well. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  7. Simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  8. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

9. Methi Dal

Methi Dal is a delicious and nutritious lentil dish made with fenugreek leaves. It’s packed with flavors and is often enjoyed with rice or chapati.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 1 cup fresh fenugreek leaves (methi), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder and water until soft.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Sauté until the onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add the chopped fenugreek leaves and cook until wilted.
  6. Add the cooked dal to the pan and mix well. Adjust the consistency with water if needed.
  7. Simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  8. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

Conclusion

These nine lentil dishes are popular in every Indian household, each offering a unique combination of flavors and textures. Whether you prefer the rich and creamy Dal Makhani or the nutritious Dal Palak, there’s a lentil dish for every palate. Enjoy these delicious and healthy dishes with your family and friends.

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