• Dal is one of the most common dishes in Indian cuisine
  • What makes dal exclusive to each region is the ‘tadka’ added to it
  • We handpicked a few ‘tadka’ techniques to make a simple dal taste unique

Let’s admit it, a plate of dal-chawal defines comfort for every Indian across the globe! Dal is one of the most common dishes that one will find in every regional and sub-regional food culture of the Indian cuisine. But what makes a bowl of dal exclusive to each region is the ‘tadka‘ added to it. If you explore, you will find every state has its special herbs and spices to add flavours and aroma to the boiled dal – some add nigella seeds, whereas some prefer using hing-jeera for tadka.

We went through a wide array of dal recipes from across India and handpicked a few ‘tadka‘ techniques that can make a simple bowl of dal taste unique every time you have your meal.

Also Read: Biuli’r Dal Recipe: This Bengali-Style Urad Dal Tadka Will Leave You Swooning Over A Meal


Here’e Are 5 Ways Of Adding Tadka To Dal:

1. Simple kalonji tadka

In this tadka recipe, kalonji, red chilli and diced tomato are used to add tadka to a bowl of boiled dal (preferably masoor). Make sure you temper the spices in mustard oil for a rich flavour.

2. Jeera-hing tadka

One of the most popular tadka recipes, it can be added to any dal you want – moong, masoor, urad, arhar etc. All you need to do is to temper hing, cumin seeds and red chilli in a spoon of oil and add to the boiled dal. You may also add some grated ginger to it.

3. Dhaba-style tadka

This kind of tadka is generally used in dal fry or North Indian dal tadka recipes. A pool of spices and butter/ghee are added to the boiled dal (of thick consistency) to make it rich and luscious. In this recipe, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and chillies are cooked together with cumin, hing, coriander powder, red chilli powder etc and added to the boiled dal. This dal tastes the best when topped with a dollop of butter or ghee and some freshly chopped coriander leaves.

4. Soury mustard seed tadka

It is mostly added to a bowl of dal during the summer season to cool down the body. Mustard seeds and red chillies are tempered along with some kind of soury element. People mostly use lime juice, tamarind pulp, raw mango, kokum etc.

5. Sambar dal tadka

This dal from South Indian cuisine has a dedicated fan base across India. The various local spices used in this recipe adds burst of flavours to our palate. You may find a few versions of sambar recipe, but one of the most common tadka used in this dish includes mustard seeds, curry leaves, tamarind pulp, sambar masala and red chilli. Click here to know the recipe of sambar masala pre-mix.

Include these recipe ideas in your cooking and make your meal delicious every day.

Enjoy your meal!

About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.

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