Punjabi Dal tadka recipe (restaurant style) – Dal tadka is a punjabi yellow dal cooked with onion, tomato and flavored with generous amount of tempered ghee and spices. Any Indian restaurant menu is incomplete without this mouth watering preparation of daal. Whenever we are ordering punjabi food in restaurant dal tadka (aka tadke wali dal) or dal fry is a must to order dish. This dal preparation goes really well with jeera rice, steamed rice or any kind of pulao. That’s the reason Indians are obsessed with this dal.
Recently I was on vacation (celebrating my anniversary ;-)) and we went for dinner in a famous Indian restaurant. We ordered dal tarka and it was so yum that there and then I decided I will make a similar recipe at home which should taste exactly like restaurant. So after a few attempts I feel the recipe that I am sharing is the one. Make dal tadka as I have described here and believe me you won’t regret. Not only this dal tadka taste same as restaurant or dhaba version but I feel its also better in hygiene.
This recipe of dal tadka is not what we make everyday at home. The generous use of ghee (clarified butter) make it a real tasty but not healthy. So make this dish once a while to break the routine or when you have invited guests at home. If you are planning this dish for a party or get-together then you can prepare the dal previous day and store it in refrigerator. Next day just re-heat the dal by adding water and pour fresh tadka / chounk on top just before serving. That way you can concentrate on other main course dishes for party.
Dal tadka and dal fry are two different dal preparations that we find in restaurant. For dal tadka a tarka of cumin & dry red chili is prepared separately and poured on top of dal. But in dal fry they don’t do that.
Before we check the step by step recipe of dal tadka dhaba style let us go through few tips and tricks to make perfect dal tadka at home.
Few Tips To make Restaurant Style Punjabi Dal Tadka
- Dal tadka cannot be made without using generous amount of ghee (clarified butter). However if you are on strict diet you can use Oil instead of ghee.
- The consistency of Dal tadka should not be too thin or too thick. It should have runny consistency that can be enjoyed with jeera rice.
- A lot of people add garlic in tadka (chaunk). I feel garlic is good in lasooni dal. But if you want you can add garlic in dal tadka.
- If you are serving dal tadka for party or get together. You can make dal (step 1 and step 2) without tempering beforehand. And just before serving make tadka and pour it on dal. That way dal tadka taste much better.
- In addition to toor dal (pigeon pea) and chana dal (bengal gram) you can also add masoor dal in dal tadka.
- To add smoky flavor or aroma of burnt charcoal in dal tadka you can use “dhungar technique”. Place a small katori in dal tadka and put a burnt charcoal in it. As soon as smoke comes out of charcoal close the lid and let the dal get infused with smoky flavor. This way the tadka wali dal will taste similar to the dhaba style.
Storage tips: You can make the dal in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. When needed just make and pour the tadka/tempering on top and serve.
Now let us come back and check the step by step recipe of restaurant style dal tadka with photos.
Recipe of Punjabi Dal Tadka with Step by Step (restaurant style)
The main ingredients required to make dal tadka are soaked toor dal (pigeon pea) and chana dal (bengal gram), chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped garlic and ginger, fresh coriander (cilantro), dry red chili, ghee (clarified butter), jeera (cumin seeds).
All the ingredients along with their exact quantities are written in the recipe box at the end of this post.
1. Boiling daal for Punjabi Dal Tadka Recipe
Let us first boil the daal in pressure cooker. I have soaked the toor and chana dal in water for 2-3 hours. Take the soaked daal in pressure cooker.
Add turmeric powder (haldi) in pressure cooker.
Also add salt as required for daal in pressure cooker.
Pressure cook the daal for 10 minutes (4-5 whistles) until both chana & toor dal are cooked nicely.
2. Tempering Onion & Tomato for Dal Tadka Recipe
Daal is boiled so let us make the onion tomato gravy for dal tadka. First heat clarified butter (ghee) in a non-stick pan.
Once the ghee starts melting add chopped ginger and garlic. Saute the ginger / garlic for a minute in clarified butter.
Then add chopped onion and saute for 2 minutes.
Once the onions turns golden add chopped tomatoes.
Cook tomatoes for 2 minutes until they softens. Then add kashmiri red chili powder (lal mirch) and coriander powder (dhaniya powder). Mix the dry spices with onion tomato and cook for a minute.
Add salt required for onion tomato. We already added salt while boiling the daal so we won’t need more salt here.
Pour the pressure cooked daal along with the water into onion tomato gravy and mix well.
If required add a little water and let daal comes to boil. Simmer the dal for a minute.
Add freshly chopped coriander (dhaniya) in daal.
Give a good stir and mix well. Daal is ready now. You can serve this dal as it is along with steamed rice. However we will add a tadka of red chili & cumin on top.
3. Making Tadka (Chaunk) For Dal Tadka Recipe
For tadka, heat clarified butter (ghee) in a tadka pan. Once ghee melts add dry red chili.
Add cumin seeds (jeera) in the tadka and let them flutters.
Pour the tadka on cooked daal. Dal tadka is ready.
Let us check the recap recipe to make dal tadka (restaurant style) at home.
Dal Tadka Recipe Box
- Toor dal (pigeon pea): 1/3 cup
- Chana dal (bengal gram): 1/4 cup
- Tomato: 1/2 cup
- Onion: 1/2 cup
- Clarified butter (ghee): 3 tbsp
- Dry red chili: 2 pieces
- Cumin seeds (jeera): 2 tsp
- Ginger (adrakh): 1 tsp
- Garlic (lehsun): 1 tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder: 1 tsp
- Coriander powder (dhaniya powder): 1 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder (haldi): 1/2 tsp
- Salt: 2 tsp
- Fresh coriander (hara dhaniya): 1 tbsp
- Rinse the toor and chana dal in thoroughly and soak in water for 2-3 hours.
- Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
- Take soaked dal in pressure cooker and add turmeric powder and salt.
- Pressure cook the daals for 5-7 minutes (3-4 whistles) and let it cool down completely.
- Heat clarified butter (ghee) in a non-stick pan or kadhai and once melt add ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute till raw flavor of ginger is gone.
- Add chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes until onion becomes golden.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomato softens.
- Add red chili powder (lal mirch powder) and coriander powder (dhaniya powder) in onion tomato and cook for 1 minute.
- Season the onion tomato with required salt.
- Now pour the boiled daal in kadhai and mix well with onion tomato gravy.
- Add water if required and let daal comes to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add freshly chopped coriander leaves (cilantro/dhaniya) and combine well with daal.
- Just before serving heat clarified butter (ghee) in a tadka pan and once hot add dried red chili.
- Add cumin seeds (jeera) in tadka and let them flutters.
- Pour the tadka on dal and serve right away.
- Dal tadka (restaurant style) is ready to serve. Serve dal tadka with jeera rice and punjabi sabzi and roti / naan / paratha.