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Authentic Indian dal tadka

Authentic Indian Dal Tadka, it’s filling, healthy, easy and vegan! I want you to taste India when you make my recipe. This is how I crafted it for you…

I used to live in Amsterdam together with Aditya from India and he taught me the basics of the Indian kitchen as his mom taught him. This sparked my interest in this extreme diverse kitchen. ‘Veg’ or ‘non-veg’ as they call it, they have thousands of recipes to keep you busy for YEARS!

Since then I have visited India 2 times and got a cooking class from our business partner Ashwani’s sister named Nena. Visiting India totally changed my view on cooking. The passion and techniques Indian’s have for cooking are impeccable. I created my own dal based on the knowledge I got from Aditya and visiting India. Did I spark something in you as well? Let’s go then!

Ingredients that serve 4:

  • 150 grams red lentils
  • 3 tomatoes (skinned)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tsp for ginger garlic paste
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp of dark mustard seeds
  • 2 tsps of turmeric
  • 2 dried chillies
  • kashmiri chili powder
  • half a tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tsp of ghee
  • a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • half a tsp of cumin seeds
  • Coriander for garnish optional

1. Start by rinsing your lentils, do this until the water becomes clear in your pot. It took me about 5 times to get the water clear. You do this to get rid of dust or any debris.

2. When the lentils are as clean as a whistle, add water. This is three times more water than you have lentils. I cook them for 20 minutes, but if you like them softer add more minutes to it, or water, the choice is yours!

3. Set your pot of lentils aside (do not strain them!). Take a kadai, or something that has the same shape, spark a medium flame and add some oil.

4. Chop your onion very fine as well as your skinned tomatoes. How to skin tomatoes… click here.

5. The oil is hot enough now, but you want to temper this hot oil. We do this by adding the 2 dried red chillies first for 1 minute. The chillies will puff up and turn brown/blackish, but don’t worry this is normal :). Put in the mustard seeds and wait for another minute.

6. Put in the red onion, curry leaves and ginger garlic paste, stir for a few minutes until the onion becomes soft. Now it’s time to put in your chopped tomatoes and add the turmeric with some salt & sugar to taste. Let this simmer for 7 minutes.

7. Add your lentils and give it a good stir. Meanwhile get a tadka spoon, or a metal soup ladle, and you can fill it with the following flavour-infusing spices….kashmiri red chili powder, cumin seeds, ghee, garam masala, and a pinch of hing.

8. Now let’s fire up the tadka, put it on a medium flame and hoover the ladle over it until the ghee melts and all the spices cook. This will take about 2 minutes. Do you see it boiling? Ohhh yess, it’s time to fuse it with the dal you got going on there. (if you have an electric stove, use a small pan instead of a tadka spoon/ladle)

9. Put the hot ladle in your dal and give it a swirl. Do not worry, the sizzling is part of the Indian experience. Enjoy my friend while you see a red river colouring the dal you made. It looks like art!

Finish with coriander leaves and have it with basmati rice or some naan bread!

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