Tomato Dal


Hello! Welcome to my blog today. I’m going to make a quick post of this amazing Tomato dal. I call this amazing because it really is, you will see. Also, please excuse this picture- I had no intention of making this blog post, but then I took a picture and thought, why not?! So, here we are.

I make this dal every other week. Its my quick, go-to dal most of the times. I usually have all the ingredients at home and plus there is no sautéing or browning of onions involved, like in Dal Tadka or Dal Makhani. I know browning the onions adds a lot of taste and body to a curry, but if I can avoid it, I will. There is a beautiful tomato flavour to this dal and its tasty, comforting and just plain yum!

In this dal, all the ingredients pretty much go into the pressure cooker at the same time except the tempering ingredients. And the tempering process  (tadka) again is pretty simple and it only takes a minute.

So, for this recipe, you need an onion, tomatoes, turmeric and red chilli powder and dal (lentils) of course! I used a mixed dal- its a mixture of 3-4 split lentils, that you can easily make at home or get it premixed from the market.

And surely, you can make this recipe with the lentil of your choice, little red lentil (aka masoor dal) is another great option.

Mixed dal I used today

OK, enough talking, here’s the recipe,

Prep time- 5 minutes

Cook time- 15-20 minutes


In pressure cooker:

  1. Lentils- 1 cup, washed and set aside
  2. Tomatoes- 2 nos, roughly chopped
  3. Onions- 1 nos, sliced roughly
  4. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  5. Red Chilli powder- 1- 1 1/2 tsp (depends on your spice tolerance, I add 1 1/2 tsp)
  6. Salt- 1 tsp (or as per taste)

For tempering (Tadka):

  1. Oil/Ghee- 1 tbsp (you can add oil here and then put a final dollop of ghee in the end)
  2. Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  3. Asafoetida- 1 good pinch (optional)
  4. Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  5. Curry leaves- a handful


  1. Wash the dal 2-3 times under cold water, drain and set aside.
  2. Place a pressure cooker on medium heat and add all the ingredients under the ‘in pressure cooker’ list to 2 cups of water and mix well. The cooking time of the dal depends on the lentils being used. For a cup of this mix, 3 whistles is usually enough- roughly 20 minutes if using a deep pot. Check the cook on the dal once the pressure from the cooker is released and cook longer if needed.
  3. Check for seasoning and add more salt if required.
  4. For tempering- Place a small pan on medium heat and add oil or ghee to it- wait till the oil heats up. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and when it splutters add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.
  5. Pour the tempering over the dal and mix well. Enjoy!

This is a very simple dal dish but very enjoyable with hot rice (I prefer basmati) and a spoonful of Ghee.

I hope that you try my Tomato dal recipe and when you do, let me know if you like it.

Thank you,




6 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe


  2. Sounds like a comfort food. Thank you Susan.


    1. susanabraham says:

      Thanks a lot! It surely is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary says:

    I made this with Chana dal (because that’s what I had at hand) and this is such a winner recipe! Thank you, and well done!


    1. susanabraham says:

      Thanks a lot chechi!


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