Masoor Dal Tadka

Masoor dal tadka is a wonderfully creamy red lentil dish, finished with spiced ghee. It’s delicious, full of flavour and incredibly easy to make! All you need to do is cook the lentils until soft and creamy and bloom some aromatics and spices in hot ghee. Put them together and you’ve got yourself the perfect wintery dinner.

My recipe calls for asafoetida (hing in Hindi), which is something you might not be familiar with. @priyakrishna describes asafoetida as an ingredient that “makes Indian food taste more Indian”. Flavour wise, it’s funky, oniony and garlicky. But more importantly, it’s a flavour enhancer, making every other spice come through. You can find asafoetida in most large UK supermarkets.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Curries, Vegetarian



For the dal:

  • 200 g red split lentils
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 850 ml water
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

For the tadka:

  • 3 tbsps ghee
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 big pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ¼ tsp mild Kashmiri chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala


  1. Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear then drain. Place the drained lentils in a saucepan and add the remaining dal ingredients. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over high heat.
  2. Use a spoon to skim off any froth or foam that rises to the surface of the water. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and broken down to a creamy consistency.
  3. When the lentils are almost ready, heat the ghee in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds and black mustard seeds (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, then add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute. Finally, add the asafoetida, Kashmiri chilli powder and garam masala and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. These spices burn easily so be careful!
  4. Pour the tadka into the dal and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, to your liking, then serve with rice and/or naan – enjoy!


Ghee imparts a wonderful flavour to the dish but if you can’t (or don’t!) want to buy some, you can use butter or vegetable oil.

Did you make this recipe?

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1 year ago

I have tried this recipe and my family loved it.. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us

1 year ago
Reply to  Sana

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s my absolute pleasure 🙂

1 year ago

tried this recipe yesterday. absolutely delicious! it was my first time making an indian recipe (as an italian person i never tried anything outside my country’s cousine!) and i loved it! thank you!

1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

1 year ago

This is the Dhal I’ve been looking for! My 5yr old son loves it before the Tadka gets mixed in too. Thank you – delish.

1 year ago
Reply to  Helena

I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

Markos Whittome
5 months ago

I love a good dal and this one was wonderfully warming and comforting. Thanks for sharing! I’ll try your coconut one next week!

3 months ago

I’m so happy to hear it! Thank you so much for your review. I hope you enjoy the coconut one, too!

4 months ago

This dal was amazing. Definitely bookmarking this recipe! Thank you for sharing.

4 months ago
Reply to  Sandy

It’s my absolute pleasure! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

4 months ago

So easy to follow and delicious! Thank you!

4 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s my absolute pleasure 🙂