Hearty, healthy, wholesome…vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free; India’s well-known tempered lentil preparation ‘Daal Tadka’ deserves all its accolades.
An Indian meal is considered incomplete unless it is accompanied by Daal, a word that applies to cooked and raw lentils. Daal preparations differ from one part of India to another; each one equally delicious like my whole-grain Masoor Daal and Palak Chana (spinach and lentils) Daal, or the Lehsuni (garlic) Dal by Tummytales.
Enjoy steaming hot Daal Tadka with a dash of lemon and crusted bread for dipping; or ladle the lentils over fragrant Basmati rice.
- 1½ cups yellow split lentils or toor lentils
- ½ a medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 4 cloves or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- Juice of half lemon
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 clove or ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 whole Serrano pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Wash the lentils and add 4 cups of water to them in a slow cooker insert. Add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, turmeric powder and salt to the lentils. Cover and let it cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours. Check if the lentils are almost done; you will feel a slight bite to them.
- Have all the tempering ingredients ready. Heat canola oil in a pan on a stovetop till it shimmers (should be hot). Turn off the heat. To this hot oil, add the cumin seeds, garlic, Serrano pepper and dry spices. Everything should sizzle in the pan. (Watch out for splattering spices during this process.)
- Stir this tempering into the hot Daal in the slow cooker. Add cilantro leaves and check for salt, adding more if desired.
- Let the lentils cook for another hour, which allows the flavors to blend. At any stage, check the Daal’s consistency and add more hot water if required.
- Serve steaming hot Daal Tadka with a dash of lemon and crusted bread for dipping; or ladle the lentils over fragrant Basmati rice.