Yellow daal or what is also known as daal tadka- meaning lentils cooked and tempered with spiced oil is a very popular dish at Indian restaurants and a favorite daal in our home. My daughter Rani especially loves this daal. Anytime she sees me making lentils, she’ll ask, “Is that yellow daal your making?” With aromatic spices, ginger garlic and onions all shallow fried in ghee, and served over white rice, this daal is comfort food for sure.
The appeal of daal tadka is in its simplicity. Creamy lentils flavored with just a couple of spices such as cumin seeds and turmeric make this daal a mildly spiced dish. But what really makes this daal taste so amazing is the ginger, onions and garlic that are gently fried in ghee and then added to the lentils. There is something truly delicious about shallow fried onions in ghee, it smells and tastes heavenly!
With the wonderful aroma of ghee, onions and spices, daal tadka tastes like Indian comfort food in a bowl. On a quiet evening when all you want is something warm and delicious daal tadka over white rice are the perfect pairing.
Yellow Daal. Daal Tadka
- 1/2 cup dried yellow split peas (chana daal)
- 1/2 cup pigeon peas (toor daal)
- 1 medium onion finely cut
- 4 cloves garlic finely cut
- 2 dried red chilies
- 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and cut into big chunks
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- 2 tbsp ghee plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp asafetida powder (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Cook the lentils until tender with 2 – 3 cups water. Save the lentil water the lentils get cooked in.
- In a pot heat the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and toast until brown, a few seconds. Add the asafetida powder, turmeric and red chilies. Toast in ghee for 2-3 seconds. Immediately add the ginger garlic and onions. Fry the onions until aromatic and tender. Add the cooked lentils and the water it is cooked in. Add salt to taste.
- Heat the daal until bubbling to allow the spices to flavor the lentils. If the daal gets thick add 1 cup water and continue to warm through. Taste and adjust for salt. Turn the stove off.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and extra drizzle of ghee.
- Serve over white rice.
Be well and healthy and I wish you a quiet week ahead.