An authentic dish straight from Punjab, this dhaba style dal tadka is here to blow your mind, heart and not to forget, your taste buds too!
In most of the Indian houses, dal is kind of a staple food which is had as such or even used in making sambar. This is yet another dal dish but it is quite different from our usual recipes. Ok, so you might ask me how this dal tadka is different from the usual one we do at home. The first difference is that we temper the dal twice unlike the usual dal tadka were we only do it once. Second, we use a combination of dal (arhar dal, chana dal, yellow moong dal and masoor dal). You can use the dal in any proportion you like or arhar dal alone can be used. Third and the main difference if the smokey flavor that is achieved through the dhungar method. This is the distinct flavor that all the dhaba style recipes have.
So, what is this dhungar method? This is a method through which we can obtain the smokey flavor by burning a piece of coal till it becomes red hot. Then keep this in a small steel bowl and place it in the curry bowl. Then pour a drop of ghee or oil on top of the coal and cover the curry bowl so that no smoke escapes. Let it rest for 10 minutes and voila! The beautiful and tempting smokey flavor is obtained.
This is the first dish in my “No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series!” So, day-1 has started with a healthy dish packed with protein. Enjoy the dhaba style dal tadka with jeera rice, roti or lachha paratha. Stay safe, Stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating!
Dhaba Style Punjabi Dal Tadka
- 1/2 cup mixed dal (arhar dal : moong dal : masoor dal in the ratio 3:2:1)
- 2 tsp chana dal
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
For first tadka
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp finely chopped green chilies
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 inch piece ginger, julienned
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp amchur powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp kasuri methi, crushed
- handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt, as required
For second tadka
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 red chilies
- 1/4 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 tsp hing
- Wash the dal with water and drain it.
- Add the washed dal to the pressure cooker along with 2 cups water and turmeric powder. Pressure cook for 5 whistles or until dal is thoroughly cooked.
- Let the pressure release naturally. Open the cooker and mash the dal.
For the first tadka
- Add ghee and oil to a kadai and let it heat.
- When oil is hot, add garlic, ginger and green chilies and saute until the raw smell disappears. Be sure not to burn it.
- Add onions and saute until translucent.
- Add tomatoes along with a pinch of salt and cook till tomatoes turn soft.
- Add red chili powder, coriander powder and required salt. Cook till the oil separates.
- Add garam masala and amchur powder and mix well.
- Add the cooked dal to the onion-tomato mixture and mix well.
- Add kasuri methi and lemon juice. Let it come to a boil.
- Add coriander leaves and switch off the stove.
For the second tadka
- Add ghee to a tadka pan and let it heat.
- Add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
- Add garlic and red chilies and saute for a few seconds. Do not let it burn.
- Add kashmiri red chili powder and hing.
- Pour the tadka hot over the dal, just before serving. Serve with jeera rice or paratha.
For dhungar method
- Heat a piece of coal in direct flame until red hot. Place the hot coal in a steel bowl and keep it in the curry. Pour a drop of ghee on the coal and cover the curry so that no smoke escapes. Let it sit for 10 minutes for the smoke to get infused.
- The combination of dal can be taken in any ratio according to taste.
- The original dhaba style recipe will have lots of ghee. So, feel free to add more.
- Instead of kashmiri red chili powder, you can also add normal red chili powder. Kashmiri red chili powder is less hot and it also gives color to the dish.
- Add chili powder according to your level of spiciness.
- Add the second tadka hot and just before serving.
- The dhungar method is optional. It tastes great even without the smokey flavor.