Posts Tagged ‘cumin seeds’

Dal Tadka

Dal is a staple in my house. Hubby loves it, my kid loves it and I am not the exception. I try to make dal every other day. Today’s recipe is simple dal which is easy to make and delicious too. If you are running out of time but still want to make something simple and wholesome, this is definitely for you. Pair this with plain white rice and some fried papads on side and TA-DA, you got a dinner or lunch ready in 30 minutes.

This dal dish will be one of my all time favorite ways of making dal. I make this dal with arhar dal and masoor dal which is pressure cooked together and in the end I temper the dal with cumin seeds, garlic and dried red chill. Hence the name Dal Tadka. Tadka is nothing but a hindi term for tempering. Tempering – It is a method widely used in Indian cuisine, in which whole spices are heated in hot oil and then mixture is added to the final dish to enhance the flavor.

Dal tadka


For dal:

  • 1/4 cup arhar dal/split yellow dal lentils
  • 1/4 cup masoor dal/split pink lentils
  • 1 small-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • water to cook
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • chopped coriander leaves for garnish

For Tempering/Tadka:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilli
  • 1 big garlic cloves, grated
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing


  • Mix both the dal together and wash them in several changes of  tap water. Keep it aside.
  • Heat a pressure cooker, add oil and then add chopped onions and cook until it turns light brown in color, add grated ginger, chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, gram masala powder and salt to taste.
  • To the above masala, add dal and sufficient water and cook dal for about 3-4  whistles on medium-low heat. Once the pressure cooker cools down, open the lid and mash the dal until creamy and mashed.
  • Dal will be little thick after mashing up, add water for desired consistency. It should not be too thick or thin. Once the desired consistency is reached, give a boil, add a tablespoon of ghee and check for seasoning.
  • Cover the dal with lid and prepare tadka for the same. At this step you can add the tadka and mix the whole thing together. Or you can serve the dal with tempering on top of it.
  • Heat oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds, dried red chillies, a pinch of asafoetida, grated garlic and cook until garlic turns light brown in color.
  • Once done, pour the entire tempering into dal and serve.  Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves to serve.
  • Serve Dal tadka with plain white rice and  roti. Enjoy!

Dal Rice

Jeera Aloo

Posted: March 5, 2013 by incidentalcooksuman in Curries, Indian Food
Tags: , , , , , ,

Jeera Aloo

Sometimes the best things are also the simplest. Whenever I run out of dishes to make for dinner or lunch this is one dish that comes to my rescue. Jeera Aloo, the first dish I learnt to cook, and it continues to be my all time favorite.

Jeera Aloo is one of the simplest Indian vegetarian dish, where jeera stands for cumin seeds and aloo stands for potatoes. Potato are so versatile, it can be cooked in numerous ways and no matter how you cook them, a potato dish will always taste great.

This is a dry dish and thus is ideal for taking with you when you are travelling. I remember mom making this for our train journey, it’s not that you don’t get food in trains or at station but to be honest there’s always concern about the hygiene of the food. And nothing is compared to a good homemade meal. We used to have this with pooris or parathas and pickle on side.

There are many different variations to this dish, and you will find various recipes online. This recipe is how my mom makes jeera aloo at home always, simple yet delicious.


  • 2-3 big potatoes, par-boiled
  • 1 small-sized white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon degi mirch
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon light olive oil
  • chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • salt to taste


  • Peel the potatoes and cut into medium sized cubes.
  • Heat oil in a skillet. Add cumin seeds, once they crackle add chopped onions and green chillies and cook until onions turns light brown in color. Add  turmeric powder, coriander powder, gram masala powder, degi mirch and salt to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add cubed potatoes and mix gently so that the potatoes are coated with masala.
  • Check for salt and add chopped coriander leaves and sprinkle the cumin powder and add lime juice. Mix well. Switch of the heat.
  • Serve hot !

Jeera Aloo