cW Recipes: Dal Tadka (Tempered Yellow Lentils)
Our resident nutritionist shares cancer-fighting recipes from around the world, crafted especially for home chefs with an adventurous palate.


Serves 4

Recipe ingredients


  • 1/2 cup moong dal (yellow lentils) 1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentils) (Note: These are preferred, but any type of lentil is fine.)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • brown rice, optional


  1. Add dal to a medium mixing bowl and fill with water. Mix dal with your hands until the water is cloudy. Drain. Repeat 2 more times until water is clear.
  2. Fill the bowl with 2 cups of water and soak lentils for about 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a saucepan to medium heat, add dal (including the water) and an additional 1 cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until dal is soft and smooth (about 40 to 50 minutes), stirring every few minutes. The dal should be a liquid, pourable consistency. If too thick, add more water and stir.
  4. Heat a large sauté pan to high and add the ghee. Once hot, add cumin seeds. Cook for about 30 to 45 seconds (until they start to brown).
  5. Add ginger, garlic, onion, and tomato. Cook on medium heat uncovered for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add chili powder, curry powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, coriander powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir for about 4 minutes. Place 1 spoonful of this mixture into a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Pour the liquid dal into the sauté pan and mix. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice.
  8. Top with remaining ghee mixture and fresh cilantro. Serve hot over brown rice.


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