Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Tadka dal Monica Haldar recipe

The Ultimate Tadka Dal Recipe, Step-by-Step

Learn to cook tadka dal in the step-by-step recipe below with expert on Indian cooking, Monica Haldar

The chef, presenter and food writer founded the acclaimed Indian pop-up restaurant and cookery school The Spice Club, as well as the online cookery school Shikshak.

She is the host of Fine Dining Lovers' Secrets of Indian Cooking series, and an authority on authentic Indian food (with a little help from her mother).

02 February, 2021
Average: 3.7 (23 votes)

serves for


total time

0 HR 15 MIN


To boil the lentils
1 cup (240g), split moong yellow
Spring water
4 cups (880ml)
1 1⁄2 tsp plus a pinch
1⁄4 tsp
To make the tadka
2 tbsp (heaped)
Cumin seeds
1 tsp
1 tbsp, grated
Tomato puree
1 tsp, double concentrate
1⁄4 tsp (optional)
Green chilli
1, slit in half
Red chilli peppers
2-3, dried (optional)
Red chili powder
1⁄4 tsp
Garam masala
1⁄4 tsp
Handful fresh leaves, chopped

Learn how to cook Monica Haldar's tadka dal in seven easy recipe steps, to prepare one of the most popular Indian lentil recipes. 

See Monica's Indian Pantry 101: a list of ingredients you'll need to master Indian cooking.

You can also watch Monica making tadka dal in the video tutorial below:

Step 01

Lentils for tadka dal

Wash lentils 3-4 times until the water runs clear. 

Step 02

cooking lentils for tadka dal recipe

Drain well and transfer into a pressure cooker.  Add water along with salt and turmeric and then mix.

Step 03

Steam pot

Carefully secure the lid on the cooker and place on a high heat (if your pressure cooker has different valve settings, place on the highest one). 

When the pressure cooker first releases steam, reduce the temperature to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Then turn off the heat and remove from the hob.


Step 04

Lentils for tadka dal recipe Monica Haldar

Allow the pressure cooker to rest for 2 minutes. Allow the steam to escape from your pressure cooker by either releasing the valve or, alternatively, place your cooker under a running cold tap until all of the steam has released.

Carefully remove the lid and check the lentils. The lentils should be soft and tender. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Step 05

tadka dal recipe Monica Haldar

To make the tadka, heat ghee in a small saucepan (you will need to work quickly and continuously mix everything while making the tadka). When the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and ginger.

Step 06

Cooking tadka dal recipe

Add tomato puree, asafoetida, green chilli, dried red chillies & chilli powder. Mix continuously and bring the pan back on the hob.

When you see a paste has formed, turn off the heat and drizzle on half of the tadka on the cooked dal. Mix well.

Step 07

final plating

Then drizzle on the remaining tadka as a garnish (without mixing). Finish with garam masala and fresh coriander leaves.

Search Recipes

Perfect Indian Rice

Perfect Indian Rice

Next Recipe