South Indian Dal Tadka

7:00 am on 8 May 2020
South Indian Dal Tadka

South Indian Dal Tadka Photo: Sammy Akuthota / Satya Chai Lounge on Auckland's K Road


  • 1 cup split yellow pigeon peas
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger 
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped 
  • 3/4 cup chopped  onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped  onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 8 curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida (if available) 
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ lime
  • salt to taste

For the seasoning:

  • 4 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon ghee/butter/oil 
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed 
  • 1tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 whole dry red chilli, broken into pieces

For the garnish:

  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander 
  • 1/2 a lime


Clean, wash and soak the dhal in warm water for 20 minutes.
Drain, add 3 cups of water + salt to taste + turmeric and cook till the dhal is tender. 
 Mash dhal with the back of a spoon and set aside. It can be a bit chunky.
Heat 4 tablespoons of ghee/butter/oil and add onion and chopped green chillies and cook until onion is translucent or change colour.
Then add tomato, ginger, garlic and salt and cook for 3 minutes or so until tomatoes are mushy and become soft.
To this, add the cooked dhal and mix everything to combine well.
For the seasoning, heat 1 tablespoon ghee/butter/oil  in a deep pan and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, curry leaves, red chilli & asafoetida.  

When the mustard seeds crackle, remove from the fire and add to the cooked dhal.

Serve hot, topped with coriander leaves and the juice of half a lime. 

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