Yellow Daal Tadka

An everyday vegan and gluten free Lentils (Daal) stew seasoned with spiced oil and tomatoes.

This recipe was first published in June 2011. Updated on September 2017 with new images and description.

A simple, healthy split yellow lentil (daal) recipe prepared with aromatics, seasoned with tomatoes and garlic, and flavored with spiced oil known as Tadka. A simple, quick, and perfect meatless Monday meal with side of steamed rice. This classic lentils recipe never gets old. It freezes well, is gluten free, vegan, and has potential to load-up with any seasonal veggies in-hand.

Two months ago, CDH completed 7 years. While I wanted to share something special for the occasion.. Our move made me change my plans. Last week, while cooking a simple weekday dinner of this Daal Tadka and Rice reminded me of old days when I started blogging.. This was one of the first recipe I posted on blog. So, I decided to take few clicks and revive this old post with some new pictures.. and give you flavor of old CDH. :)

Yellow Daal with Tadka (tempered spiced oil) is most humble lentil preparation and an every day recipe in every Indian household. Every region has their own version of this lentil stew. My recipe is most common in Northern region. Over time, my lentil Tadka recipe has g...

Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4 of 1 Cup Servings Serves: 4
Notes: No. of servings depends on serving size.


  • 1 Cup Yellow Daal (Split Moong Daal, washed)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste (Or grated 1 inch ginger and 2 garlic cloves)
  • 1 Cup Tomatoes (ripe roma tomatoes, grated )
  • 1/2 Cup Red Onion (grated red onion, very small chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp Chili Powder (mild, 1/2 tsp and 1/4 divided, adjust per taste)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp Hot Green Pepper (small) (minced, optional)
  • 1.5 tbsp Canola Oil


  • 1. Wash lentils in running water until water runs clear. Then boil with 3 cups of fresh batch of water and 1/2 tsp salt until lentils are very tender or done to your preference. (15-20 minutes). Boil on low-medium heat as yellow lentils tend to boil-over very quickly.
    Additional Notes:
    To cook lentils in *Pressure Cooker, follow instruction in notes.
  • 2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan, add half of cumin seeds (these should start sputtering), add onion and fry until light brown in color (4-5 minutes). Now, add ginger, garlic, green chilies. Fry for 2 minutes.
  • 3. Now add grated tomatoes and fry until oil separates. Add turmeric and half teaspoon of red chili powder and fry for 30 seconds.
  • 4. Mix daal/lentils in the fried mixture. Cook for 1-2 minute at low heat.
  • 5. Turn off the heat. Remove lentils in a bowl. Whip the pan clean, heat up remaining oil. When oil is hot, add in cumin seeds and remaining chili powder. Fry for 20 seconds then pour over daal. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Savita's Notes:

Pressure Cooker: If using pressure cooker, cook lentils with 2.5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt for 4-5 minutes. Or check instructions on your Pressure Cooker for lentil cooking time. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.

Make-Ahead: To save time prepare Yellow Daal Tadka on weekend and freeze it for upto 1 week. Re-heat and enjoy anytime.

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4 comment(s)

I tried this recipe and tastes just awesome. I also recommend everyone to try this recipe at least one time you will love it. Thanks for sharing such awesome recipe.
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