Tomato Garlic Dal (Lentils cooked with Tomatoes and Garlic)

Tomato Garlic Dal (Lentils cooked with Tomatoes and Garlic)

Dal is a part of everyday meal in India. It is a preparation of lentils with different spices and vegetables. Dal rice or dal roti is a staple diet of most of the Indian homes. Tomato dal or tamatar ki dal is one of the simplest and common dishes in Indian kitchen. You can call it the Indian comfort food. This dish is simple, tasty, and full of nutrition.

Onion and garlic are kind of banned in my home and that explains my love for these two flavors. I love the burnt garlic flavor in this dal. Plain rice or jeera rice is the best complement for this dal but I like it with hot rotis too.

Tomato Garlic Dal (Lentils cooked with Tomatoes and Garlic)


Serves 4

  • 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor/arhar dal) washed and soaked for 15 mins
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes washed and chopped
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • Approximately 3 cups of water for cooking the dal
  • 1-2 cups of water (if required in case the dal is too thick)
  • 2 tsp of ghee/oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves


Pressure cook the dal in 3 cups of water with salt for 3-4 whistles. It should be cooked enough to be mashed when you mix it. Once the cooker is cooled, mash the dal and keep aside.

Heat ghee/oil in a kadhai or pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves, green chillies, and ginger. Cook for 30-40 seconds. Add garlic and cook till the garlic starts browning. Add onions and cook on low flame till onions start browning.

Add tomatoes and salt. Remember the dal already has salt so add salt for tomatoes only. Cook on low flame till tomatoes are cooked and can be mashed with the back of a spoon. Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. Mix well and cook till oil separates.

Add the cooked dal to this and mix well. If the dal is too thick you can add ½ to 1 cup of water. Some people like the dal thick while some enjoy a thinner consistency so add water as per preference.

Check for seasoning and add salt or spice as required. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped coriander and serve with hot rice.

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