Nothing beats a cold winter’s day than a good Indian-spiced lentil curry. This dal tadka recipe is filling and packed full of spice and flavour. Lentil curries are so versatile. They can be eaten as a soup for a light meal or with roti/rice for a main meal. I made this lentil curry as a side with vegetable biryani for dinner and then I had the leftovers as a soup for lunch the next day.
This dal tadka curry is made using toor dal, which are split pigeon peas. Dal is the Indian word for lentil and tadka is the process of tempering spices. For this curry, the tempered spices are used to finish the lentil curry. Like most lentils, pigeon peas are high in protein and fibre making it a great ingredient for vegetarians or vegan recipe.
Unlike some lentils, split pigeon peas don’t need to be pre-soaked. Just wash them in warm water a few times before cooking. In this recipe, the toor dal is boiled for 30 minutes until it’s soft. The spices are tempered separately and cooked with the onion and tomato. The lentils are added and mixed with a little water to make a lovely spicy yellow lentil curry.
This lentil curry can be served with rice or roti but also works really well as a soup.
Do you like lentil curries? Leave me a comment and rate this recipe if you like it, I want to know if you like spice as much as I do! Share your pictures on Instagram with #prettyvegetarian.
Spicy yellow lentil curry - dal tadka
Yield 2-4 people
Spicy yellow lentil curry is perfect for a satisfying healthy dinner. This dal tadka recipe is packed full of spice and flavour and so good on a cold winter’s evening.
- 200g/1 cup split pigeon peas/toor dal
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 3 whole dried red chillies
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida/ hing
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 10 curry leaves
- thumb-sized root of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Wash the dal in warm water a few times until the water runs clear. I use a sieve to wash the dal.
- Place the dal in a medium sized pan and cover with boiling water. You should have just enough water to cover the dal. Cook on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes until the dal is soft. Test a piece of the dal to ensure it is soft. Add more water if needed.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium pan and allow to heat for a few minutes.
- Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, whole red chillies.
- When the mustard seeds start popping, this will happen after a minute or so, reduce the heat to low.
- Add the asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves and stir continuously for a minute.
- Now add the ginger, onion, tomatoes, red chilli powder and salt. Cook for 10 minutes until the onions and tomatoes have softened.
- Add the cooked dal, mix well and add 5-8 tablespoons of water, you want a thick gravy. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes until the dal is warm through.
- Serve warm.