Dal Tadka and Coconut Rice

Dal Fry is a popular Indian lentil recipe. This recipe uses Toor dal, which is also known as Arhar or Toovar dal. The dal is seasoned with variety of spices and it tastes delicious.

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes

Serve 4.

Dal Fry (Dal Tadka) Recipe by ManjulaIngredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal, arahar dal
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric


  • 3 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped I used 3 medium size tomatoes (canned tomatoes work fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (hing) (Optional)
  • 2 whole dry red chili (chili flakes)
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon green chili finely chopped adjust to taste (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger finely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped (hara dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor) (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala


  1. Wash and soak toor dal in approx. 3 cups of water, for at least one hours. Dal will be double in volume after soaking. Drain the water.
  2. Put dal with 2-1/2 cups water into a pressure cooker and add salt, turmeric, Cook on medium high heat.
  3. When the pressure cooker starts to steam, turn the heat down to medium and cook for five minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and wait until all the steam has escaped before opening the pressure cooker. Dal should be soft. If needed add more water, dal should be consistency of thick spup.


  1. Heat the ghee in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks right away, ghee is ready. Add cumin seeds, and mustard seeds, asafetida, whole red chili. After the seeds crack, add bay leaves, green chili, ginger and chili powder. Stir for a few seconds.
  2. Add tomatoes, salt and sugar stir and cook until tomatoes are tender and mushy.
  3. Add cilantro, mango powder, and garam masala cook for about one minute.
  4. Pour the seasoning over  dal mix it well and cook for another minute.
  5. Serve this as a main dish with Indian flat bread or with rice.

All ingredients can be purchased ar Rice ‘n Spice.

Coconut Rice 

2 cups rice (basmati is best but any other long grain will do) cooked and kept aside. 
Coconut oil – about 2-3 tablespoons (any other cooking oil will also do)
Mustard seeds -@ 2- 3 teaspoons.
@1/4 cup cashew nuts broken into pieces
2 tsp each chana dal and urad dal (different kinds of lentils — you can omit these if you want)
1-2 green chilis slit into 4 lengthwise strips(serranos will work)
about 10 curry leaves
@ 1/3 tsp asafoetida (optional but it does add a nice flavor)
1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh frozen grated coconut thawed out
salt to taste

Heat the oil to medium high. Add cashews and lentils if using. Fry for a minute or so or till they turn light golden. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and the chilis. Fry till mustard seeds begin to sputter (about 30 secs. or so). Add the asafoetida. Immediately add the cooked rice and salt. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Add the coconut. Mix well. Heat through. Its done.