Paruppu Kadayal / Dal Tadka / Lentil Stew

dal tadka,lentil stew,paruppu kadayalThis Paruppu kadayal is comfort food as I’ve always known it. This Dal/Paruppu goes beautifully with rice and is perfect for toddlers, kids and all ages. Packed with nutrition, simple and quick to make, it is my number one choice (over Sambar anyday) when I am preparing a vegetarian meal. By the way I am terribly bored with Sambar these days and I would do anything to get out of eating it. What with all these festivals, Sambar is the default and it is taking its toll. Kanne Kattudhu!

I grew up with Paruppu Rasam saadam where the Paruppu is even more basic. It is just cooked with turmeric and salt until soft and then mashed and tempered. This is served with rice and a hot milagu (pepper) rasam. However this paruppu kadayal/lentil stew doesn’t need a rasam. You can serve this with rice and a generous helping of melted ghee along with appalam (or vathal/vatral) and vegetables. Simple, hearty and tasty home-food at its best.

dal tadka,lentil stew,paruppu kadayal

Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4


Toor Dal/Tuvaram paruppu/Red gram – 1 cup rinsed in 2-3 changes of water
Shallots/Sambar onions – 10-12 peeled and chopped or 1 Large onion chopped
Green chillies – 3-4 slit lengthwise
Garlic – 7 cloves peeled
Tomato – 1 large chopped
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Salt to taste
Water – 1-3/4 cups
Coriander leaves – a handful chopped


Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Garlic – 7 cloves peeled and sliced lengthwise
Cumin – ½ tsp


1.      Rinse the dal/lentils in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Transfer the lentils to a pressure cooker. Add chopped shallots, tomatoes and whole garlic cloves to the lentils. Add about 1-3/4 cups water. Season with turmeric powder, salt and Asafoetida. Add the slit green chillies. Close and pressure cook up to 2 whistles or 15 minutes.

2.      When the pressure subsides, open and mash the dal. Set aside.

3.      In a kadai or small tempering pan, add oil and when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they have spluttered, add the cumin and sliced garlic. Fry on low heat till the garlic is golden. Dump the tempering mixture over the dal and mix well. Stir in the coriander leaves and serve hot with rice and ghee.

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