Spicy Tomato Dal

I was trying to do something a little different and came up with this recipe. There is nothing unique about this Spicy Tomato Dal, just added things I normally would not add to dal. The end result was really tasty and everyone loved it. Now this is part of my dal rotation.

Ginger garlic is not part of my everyday cooking. Dal with cumin seeds tadka usually does not have ginger garlic paste added to it. I added it as an experiment that turned out great. Onion is not part of my everyday cooking either. In fact we prefer food without onions. If you like onion, you could add it before the ginger garlic and saute until transparent.

You will need
1 cup toor dal
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chili pepper
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp garam masala, I use rasam masala
1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
salt to taste

Pressure the toor dal with 2 cups water. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds to the heated oil and let them sizzle for a couple seconds. Turn the heat down to low and add the the red chili pepper and ginger garlic paste. Saute for a couple seconds taking care it does not burn. Now add the diced tomatoes and the remaining ingredients except the dal. Add a little water if the tomatoes are not juicy. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes.

Now add the cooked dal and about 1 - 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.

Simmer for a 4-5 minutes on medium-low heat. Turn off heat and serve hot with rice or poli.



  1. The addition of ginger garlic paste is definitely an interesting one. Am sure this dal will definitely please my tastebuds.

  2. Oh even we don't add ginger garlic paste to our dal or sambar, though each is either added pound or chopped. However, during our visit down south, I saw the cook adding pound ginger garlic to sambar, saying it helps in digestion. I thought it would drastically change the taste. However I didn't notice it at all and remember only later. Of course I can't cook without onions..:)..this dal sounds fantastic Varada. Enjoyed your series.

  3. I do add lots of tomatoes to dal, but have never tried ginger garlic paste. But once I used garlic in tempering and loved it. Next time, let me try your version. It looks really yum Varada.

  4. And I cannot imagine cooking dals without ginger and in many cases even without garlic and onion. Such a comforting bowl of dal.

  5. Such finger licking dal...would love to grab one...We add ginger juveniles at times...

  6. Thats a simple and flavourful dal. We also used to make tomato dal sans garlic. But I am huge fan of all 3 ginger, garlic and onions. Ill try this the next time.

  7. I love tomato dal any day and your version sounds absolutely comforting and delicious. Loved all your dazzling dals this week Varada.

  8. tomato must make a great tangy dal with rice

  9. Ginger garlic is a new addition to my dals too. Spicy tomato dal sounds yummy.

  10. Tomato toor dal sounds very inviting and would taste amazing with plain steaming hot rice.


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