Punjabi Urad Dal Tadka Recipe (Tempered White Lentils)

Updated on April 28, 2020
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Rajan writes to share his knowledge of health, yoga, pranayama, alternative therapies, natural remedies, food recipes, and more.

Urad dal tadka (tempered white lentils)
Urad dal tadka (tempered white lentils) | Source

Urad dal tadka is a popular Punjabi dish of tempered white lentils. Commonly sold from dhabas (roadside eateries), this dish is typically eaten with an Indian flatbread like roti or paratha. It can also be served with rice, in which case the dal should be made thinner.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 3-4 servings


  • 1 cup urad dal (white lentils), split, skinned, and soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon heeng (asafoetida powder)
  • 500 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons desi ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon dhania (coriander powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 3-4 whole dry red chillies
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), optional


  1. Soak the urad dal for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Put dal in the pressure cooker. Add in 500 ml water and the sliced ginger, salt, haldi powder, and heeng powder.
  3. Close the cooker, keep the heat on full, and at the first whistle put off the heat.
  4. Open the cooker when the pressure subsides. Check the dal; it should be soft.
  5. Keep the cooker on a low heat now while you make the tadka on another burner.
  6. In a tadka pan, add desi ghee. Keep the heat on high. Once the ghee melts, add the chopped onions.
  7. Stir a few times and add the optional kasuri methi. Saute till the onions turn light brown.
  8. Add the grated garlic. Reduce heat to low and saute till garlic turns a little brown. Add the red chilli powder, dhania powder, and garam masala.
  9. Raise heat to medium and saute the spices for about 1 minute.
  10. Add the tomato puree and stir for about 30 seconds. The tadka (tempering) should be ready.
  11. Pour the tadka in the dal, saving a little for garnishing.
  12. Stir the tadka and transfer the dal to a serving bowl.
  13. Garnish the dal with the saved tadka and serve hot with rice, roti, paratha, or naan.

Punjabi Urad Dal Tadka Recipe (Tempered White Lentils)

2.5 stars from 2 ratings of Punjabi Urad Dal Tadka Recipe (Tempered White Lentils)

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Rajan Singh Jolly


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      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        5 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

        Glad you like the recipe and dish, Devika. Thank you.

      • profile image

        Devika Primic 

        5 weeks ago

        I like lentils and your idea is interesting. Food ideas are always appetizing.

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        5 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

        Much appreciated, Bill. My regards to Bev and you. Stay safe and well.

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        5 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

        I can understand your unfamiliarity with this, Pamela. Hope you can give this Indian style lentils a try. Thank you.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        This looks like a different recipe that I have not eaten before, but it looks good I do like lentil beans. Thanks for sharing another good reipce, Rajan.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        I hope this finds you well. Bev says thank you for the recipe. Have a superb week ahead, my friend.


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