I’m clearly a fan of any flavours that remind me of dhaba food because now I have three dhaba inspired recipes on the blog! Not complaining guys, just letting you know that this Dhaba Dal Tadka is going to be one amongst three of the best recipes on the blog. Because dal tadka in general is pretty awesome, but you give it a dhaba twist and it becomes epic!
I think I’ve already told you about my trauma with yellow dal when I was a kid. But I think all that has changed now considering the fact that I have two yellow dal recipes on the blog. This one and the dhaba dal fry. They are both fighting for attention, so I’m just going to alternate between the two.
But all you need to know about this dhaba dal tadka is that it’s one of the simplest things to make as long as you have a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are the shit when it comes to cooking dal. I can’t do without one in my kitchen, because they cut cooking time in half literally!
It took me about half an hour to make this dal from start to finish and I didn’t even need to soak it.
This dal tadka is not just a regular dal. There is a simple trick that I have which makes sure it’s a garlicky, smoky dal tadka that is unforgettable! If you have some coal, you can use the coal trick mentioned in the recipe. But even if you don’t, the trick is to add tadka, cover and leave the the dal for about half an hour before you serve. That half an hour of patience will be rewarded with a nice garlicky flavor that’s just perfect!
Every time I make this dhaba dal tadka, I end up ordering some tandoori rotis and mostly making dhaba chicken curry to go with it. Because this dal tadka deserves to be eaten with all the pomp and show!
Gosh! I miss going to a dhaba so very much. Even today, every time I go to Raipur, I make sure my dad takes us to the dhaba in town. Our regular order is chicken chilli (epic in a dhaba), dal fry or tadka, paneer masala, chicken curry and hot tandoori rotis. There is always sliced onions and masala papad to round things up. Nothing can beat that meal! If you are ever in a town which has good dhabas, do not miss it!
Learn how to make the restaurant favourite dal tadka, dhaba style! Easy instructions for spicy, smoky, garlicky punjabi dhaba dal tadka.
- 1 cup Tur or Arhar Dal (Pigeon peas split and skinned)
- 1 Tomato, finely chopped
- 1 Green Chilli, slit lengthwise
- 3/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
- 2 whole Red Chillies
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds (or Jeera)
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
For smoking the dal (optional):
- 2 pieces Coal
- 1 teaspoon Ghee
- In a pressure cooker, add dal (lentils), tomato, green chilli, turmeric and salt with 2 1/2 cups water. Pressure cook till the dal can be easily mashed between two fingers.
- This is completely optional, but if you’d like to smoke the dal, heat the pieces of coal over an open fire till they are red hot and add them to a small katori or heat proof bowl (steel works best). Pour ghee over it and place the bowl in the middle of the dal, making sure that it doesn’t sink through. Cover and let the coal do it’s magic for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the bowl and discard the coal.
- In a small skillet or tadka pan, add ghee, garlic and red chillies. Let these heat up slowly so that the garlic imparts it’s flavour. Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds. As soon as the cuming starts spluttering, add chili powder and switch off the flame. Pour this all over the dal and mix in chopped coriander.
- Cover and let the dal sit for half an hour if you have the patience. Reheat and serve!