June 3, 2013

Dhaba Tadka Mix + Dhaba Style Urad Dal - a Step by Step Recipe

Looks like those hot, summer days which I have been complaining in almost every post since past few months are on the move. Humid, sultry nights are being slowly replaced with breezy, chilly ones and trust me, am not complaining at all. I dread hot days and simply love winters as am a through & through wrap-a-shawl-and-have-a-cup-of-hot-tea kinda girl. :-)

Spicy Dhaba Style Urad Dal

As the seasons change, so does the food I tend to prefer. piping hot bowls of myriad of dals are my absolute favorite. I already posted this and this here on the blog. Trust me I have more to come just like today's recipe - Dhaba Style Urad Dal. There is always something nostalgic, something very earthy about the food that we get on the roadside dhabas on the highways. The subzis are mostly burn-your-mouth spicy served with rotis + onions & lemons on the side to cool things down. I have made my dal a little milder than expected. Taste and add more/less dhaba tadka mix as per your taste buds. If you have the mix ready, this dal is so easy to make. I would suggest to try some for a bowl of comfort and happiness.


..the spices for the dhaba tadka mix...

...dry roasted spices...

..ground to a fine powder...that's our dhaba tadka mix...

{Recipe} Dhaba Style Urad Dal

Adapted from NDTV Cooks
Serves 3 to 4 


1 cup white urad dal (split black gram)
5 cups water
1/2 tsp turmeric

For tempering:

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 small onion, minced
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 cup tomato puree
2 tsp dhabba tadka mix
juice of one lemon

For dhaba tadka mix:

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground mace (javitri powder) [I didn't use any]
1 tsp turmeric powder


To make the dhaba tadka mix: Dry roast the whole spices (cumin, coriander seeds, saunf, cloves and cinnamon) separately on a tawa. Add the turmeric powder, chilli, javitri powder (if using) and roast some more. Cool a bit and make a fine powder of the spices. Store in an air tight container.

1. Pressure cook the dal with salt and turmeric up to 2 to 3 whistles (until mush). Using the back of a ladle, mash to a creamy consistency.

2. In a pan, take a tablespoon of butter, fry the cumin seeds with ginger-garlic paste. Then add the onions till they turn translucent. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and green chillies.

3. Add the tomato puree and the dhaba tadka mix. Cook until oil lightly separates from the edges.

4. Pour the cooked dal and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off heat and add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Tastes delicious with both rice and roti. 

Sending this simple, flavorful dal to dear Nupur who is guest hosting MLLA's 60th edition this month, originally conceptualized by Susan and right now being managed by Lisa.

...on a cold, windy night, this bowl of dal does look comforting.. Isn't it?...

This is Recipe 37 added to my The 100 Recipe Challenge for Year 2013. Check out the rest of the recipes too.


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until next recipe,


  1. I like the idea of making a separate spice mix Siri, lovely recipe !

  2. Thanks for the gorgeous entry, Siri! I tend to use urad dal for idli/dosa and little else but this looks so good. And the spice mix sounds divine.

  3. This is not Urad dal. You have used Moong dal.

    1. Hi Vinay - It is not what it always seems.. the dal used in this recipe is indeed urad dal. May be it is the turmeric that makes it look like moong dal :-)


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