A touch of cardamom makes takes golden yellow dal to the next level. When mixed with chopped garlic, onions, and dried red chili, it’s one of its kind. What really makes this dal stand out from a lentil soup is the tadka (tempering), a technique of adding tempered spices and flavor to hot oil that’s poured on a piping hot dal. Serve this dal as a soup or as a main dish with some steamed rice, naan or with any of your favorite flatbread.
Cardamom-Scented Dal Tadka [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Dal:
- 1 cup split yellow lentils (moong dal)
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 dried red chilis
- 1 tomato, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons cardamom powder
- Salt, to taste
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Tadka:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon garam masala
- Chopped coriander leaves
To Make the Dal:
- Wash the yellow moong dal in running water and soak for about 20-25 minutes until the dal becomes soft.
- In a pressure cooker, add soaked moong dal, turmeric powder and water and cook for about 5 minutes or until you see foam on the top.
- Remove this foam gently with the help of a ladle. Add salt, coriander powder, asafoetida, and chopped tomatoes.
- Cover the lid and pressure cook for 2 whistles on high heat.
- Remove from heat. Let the pressure come off.
- Open the lid and add ground cardamom to it.
- Whisk slightly to mash and cook it covered on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and mix well.
- Remove from heat. Dal is ready now.
To Make the Tadka:
- Heat oil in a small saucepan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dried red chilis. When they start to splutter add ginger, garlic, and chopped onions. Saute for 5 minutes. Add garam masala powder and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Pour this tempering over hot dal. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.