Dhal is one of the most famous, versatile, healthy, and filling meals in the world. Dahl means lentils, but when referred to as food, it means spiced Indian lentil soup.

There are many ways you can cook dahl. You can either have it thick or thin, make it with butter or cream. The choice is yours. No matter how you make it, it tastes amazing.

Masoor dahl is similar to red lentils and you can find it in many grocery stores. They are cheap, easy, and quick to make.

Dahs are naturally gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, and contain very low fat and calories. Once you have it, you will find yourself coming back for another bowl. The best way to enjoy it is with basmati rice, vegetable curry, or roasted vegetables.

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Plus, each meal of this delicious dahl provides you important nutrients like folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

What is a tadka?

A tadka is a method where you mix different spices and cook them in hot oil to bring out the best flavor. This tadka can be added to vegetable curries or dahl, which instantly elevates the flavor of your dish.

It is an amazing way to cook delicious dahl all the time. It allows you to cook the dahl the way you want. The best thing about cooking dahl is that you can change the taste by cooking it more or less. Fresh dried lentils cook faster compared to old lentils that have been sitting on your shelf for a long period.

Cooking the lentils and tadka separately gives you the freedom to cook it perfectly before you add the flavoring. It also gives your tadka to cook without overcooking your lentils.

How to cook the lentil?

Before you even begin cooking the lentils, make sure you have removed any stones or debris from the lentils. These days, companies use machines to remove these unwanted items, but you can still find small stones occasionally if not thoroughly cleaned before cooking.

Start by pouring your lentils on a white dinner plate in small portions and quickly go through them. The next step is to move the lentils into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse them thoroughly to remove any debris or polish from them. Yes, you read that right, polish. Many companies use polish to give a shiny coat to the lentils so that they can attract more customers. Always try to buy organic lentils if you want to save yourself from consuming harmful chemicals.

Rinse the lentils until the water turns clear. Another way to clean the lentils is by pouring them into a pot and add water. The water will begin to turn cloudy, drain the cloudy water, and repeat the process until the water turns clear. To be honest, this is the only hardest part of cooking lentils.

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Once the lentils are cleaned and rinsed, transfer them into a pot add fresh water and bring it to a boil. If you see any white foam on the top, skim it off.

Turn the water down to a simmer, cover the pot partially, and set a timer. When the lentils are cooked, they will become tender, while maintaining the texture. Remember, you will be cooking the lentils for another 5 to 10 mins when you add tadka, so try not to overcook it.

How to make the tadka?

If you are looking to make Indian styled dahl, here are the ingredients for Indian dahl recipe you need to make the perfect dahl.

  • Lentils (obviously)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Chilies
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Curry powder
  • salt

Heat the oil in a pan and cook garlic, ginger, onion, and chilies until they are soft. Then add all your spices and cook for 5 mins. Since ground spices burn easily, allows your spices to sizzle with some onions before you add tomatoes into your tadka. Cook the tomatoes thoroughly until the tadka is saucy and thick.

Now, add the tadka to your lentils and cook it for another 5 to 10 minutes to help the flavor blend into the lentils. Taste the dahl and check what is missing. If the dish tastes bland, try adding a little bit of salt and chilies.

Serving the lentils

The best way to serve lentils is with basmati rice garnished with cilantro. You can also serve it with some Indian bread like naan or chapati.

Dal is one of the easiest and healthiest meals you can cook at home. It provides you many of the important nutrients and keeps you full for a long period. This is also great for people who are looking for some weight loss recipes.