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Punjabi Urad Dal Tadka Recipe (Tempered White Lentils)

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Urad dal tadka (tempered white lentils)

Urad dal tadka (tempered white lentils)

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 timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

3-4 servings

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  • 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)

© 2020 Rajan Singh Jolly

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