Oil Free Tadka Dal


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  • Servings : 2 portions


  • 1/2 cup split red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (if allowed)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (set aside other half) (if allowed)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala plus more to taste
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)


Step 1

1. Put the lentils, water, and next 7 ingredients (through salt) into a pressure cooker and lock the lid. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (on the Instant Pot, select manual and change the time to 10 minutes). Allow pressure to drop naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick-release. If you do not have the pressure cooker, you may soak the dal for 1 hour and then cook in a normal pan with half lid placed. Allow it to boil on high flame. Then slow down the flame and it will get cooked in 10-15 minutes. Stir in a few times.

Step 2

2. Open lid carefully and check to make sure lentils are tender. If not, continue to cook without pressure until lentils are fully cooked. Add garam masala and stir vigorously to make the lentils creamy. It should be a medium consistency, so add a little water if it’s too thick. Keep warm.

Step 3

3. While the lentils are cooking, heat a small non-stick skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Add the red pepper flakes and cook until onions are softened and touched with brown.

Step 4

4. Check the seasoning of the lentils and add additional salt and garam masala to taste. Serve with bread and top each serving with the browned onions.

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