30 Minute



Dal Tadka with Rice & Jeera Aloo – The Most Comfort Food Combo

Dal Tadka with Rice & Jeera Aloo – The Most Comfort Food Combo

Is there any food that is more comforting than this good old combination of Dal Tadka, Rice, and Jeera Aloo? I don’t think so. It is perfect for the time when you want something simple, don’t feel like eating a lot, or just want to chill in the bed with a warm and light meal. It is quick and easy to make and requires very basic ingredients that everybody has (not counting the exceptions :D). So, do try this meal over lunch or dinner and thank me later.

For more dinner recipes, you must check out – Dalia Pulao, Vegan Pad Thai Noodles, Raw Mango Dal Rasam with Rice, and Chickpea Pulao.

Story Time

Jatin is not a fan of dal and rice. Maybe because he is a Punjabi and is not used to eating plain rice with a simple dal. But, I am from Uttar Pradesh and I have grown up eating this meal. We used to have Toor dal, rice, chapati, and one kind of seasonal vegetable every day for lunch. It is a staple meal of Uttar Pradesh. In fact, when we return home after a trip or we had some rich food outside in a restaurant or in a wedding, the next day all we want is this simple dal and rice. It is soothing, and comforting and makes a delightful meal.

After getting married, I don’t make it so much but whenever Jatin is not home or he is not very hungry, I make this combo for myself. And guess what, even though Jatin says that he doesn’t enjoy this meal much, he ALWAYS goes for the second serving. It is a record. I am not even kidding. Whenever I boil potatoes for something, I boil some extra potatoes so that I can make this meal combo too. If you have never tried this, you are seriously missing out on something so good. Try it and thank me later.

What is Dal Tadka?

Dal tadka is a popular Indian cuisine most commonly made with Toor dal (Arhar dal) and tempered with ghee or oil and some seasoning ingredients like garlic, cumin seeds, and dry red chili (whole). There are many different ways of tempering a dal:

  1. Garlic and cumin seeds
  2. Mustard seeds and curry leaves
  3. Cumin seeds, asafoetida, and red chili powder

Every region has its own way of preparing this recipe. You can also check out another simple dal recipe that I prepare quite often – Mix Moong Dal.

How to cook dal?

Every dal takes a different time to cook. Some get soft and perfectly cooked in just ten minutes without presoaking. But some need to be soaked well in advance to speed up the cooking process. Some lentils (like yellow moong dal or dhuli masoor dal) can be cooked in a saucepan but some lentils (like kidney beans, chickpeas, kali masoor dal, toor dal, etc.) need a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot for cooking.

It is always better to presoak lentils for at least 30 minutes (except for the ones that need overnight soaking). It is good not just for faster cooking but also helps in better absorption of certain nutrients.

Below are the methods that can be used to cook toor dal:

  1. Saucepan – You can cook Toor dal in a saucepan but it would take a lot of time to soften and get perfectly cooked and mushy. It is better to soak it well in advance to speed up the cooking process. Cook with water and the seasonings as mentioned in the recipe box.
  2. Pressure Cooker – If using a pressure cooker, cook it on high flame for one whistle. After that, lower the flame and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Instant Pot – I cook dal in Instant pot only. You can follow the recipe as given in the recipe box below.

How to store Dal Tadka?

You can store dal in an air-tight container and refrigerate it. Consume it within 2 days.

You can even freeze it for up to a month. Do not add coriander leaves. While serving, heat it well and then garnish it with some fresh coriander leaves. You can even make a big batch and store it without tempering. Temper with your choice of tempering ingredients while serving. I never tried freezing it since I prefer to make it fresh.

What is Jeera Aloo?

Jeera aloo is a simple seasoned potato recipe that is often served with some dal, chapati, and rice. It is made with some boiled potatoes that are seasoned with cumin seeds and some basic spices like salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. You can even add coriander powder or garam masala, green chili, or dry red chili (whole). It is such a versatile recipe.

Is this recipe vegan?

Yes. Of course. All the ingredients used in this recipe are vegan and plant-based.

More Indian vegan recipes to try – Misal Pav, Vegan Dum Biryani, Lemon Rice.

Easy Swaps

  1. Toor Dal: Instead of Toor Dal, you can use yellow moong dal or dhuli masoor dal (orange dal). Both these dals or lentils cook much faster than Toor dal. So, time them accordingly.
  2. Rice: Instead of rice, you can serve it with some cooked Dalia, millets, or quinoa.

More Indian Lentil Recipes to try

  1. Raw Mango Rasam Rice
  2. South Indian Sambar
  3. Punjabi Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry)
  4. Kali Masoor Dal
  5. Vegan Dal Makhani

Now we are all ready to make this deliciously simple and comforting meal combo – Toor Dal with Rice and Jeera Aloo. It is a nourishing bowl of happiness. Make it over lunch, brunch, or for a relaxing dinner. Make it a little extra because you can’t get enough of this.

If you try the recipe and like it too, please share the photo of your dish on Instagram and tag us too @thefearlesscooking. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Dal Tadka with Rice & Jeera Aloo – The Most Comfort Food Combo

Nourishing. Comforting. Delicious.

A perfect Meal-Combo for the days when you want to have something light and simple yet delicious and comforting. This Meal Combo of Dal Rice and Jeera Aloo is a match made in heaven :) 

It's a Must-Try Recipe.



10 min

Prep Time

25 min

Cook Time

35 min

Total Time


Dal Tadka

Jeera Aloo



Dal Tadka
  1. In an Instant pot, add dal, water, salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Pressure cook for 12 minutes. Let it depressurize itself.  
  2. Soak dal for at least 30 minutes and then wash 2-3 times with water.
  3. Tempering: heat some oil in a small pan. Once the oil is heated, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Switch off the flame and add dry red chili. Stit is for a few seconds.
  4. Pour over the tempering on dal and mix well. Dal Tadka is ready.
  5. You can garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.
Jeera Aloo
  1. Heat some oil in a pan.
  2. Once the oil is heated, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. 
  3. Add red chili powder. turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well. Keep the flame low else the spices may burn. 
  4. Add potatoes and green chili. Mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium-high flame. Keep stirring in betweem. Let the potatoes get sligtly roasted and crispy. 
  5. Once done, remove from the flame and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Serve right away. 
Serving Suggestions
  1. In a bowl/plate, add rice and then pour over some dal on it. Mix well using a spoon or with your hands. 
  2. You can even add some lemon juice on top.
  3. Place some jeera aloo on the side. Mix and enjoy your happy meal :)
  4. You can serve some salad and roasted papad too on the side.


What is the difference between dal fry and dal tadka?

Dal tadka is a cooked lentil recipe with a simple tempering of cumin seeds, garlic, and dry red chilli (whole). You can temper (or add tadka) it as you like. For example, with mustard seeds, asafoetida, or curry leaves. Every region has its own way of tempering dal. On the other hand, dal fry is a dal recipe with the tempering of onion, tomatoes, giber, garlic, and some whole and ground spices. In India, dal tadka is usually made on a regular basis at home and dal fry is a little special and made occasionally.

Which dal is used to make dal fry?

Dal fry is usually made with toor dal (arhar dal). But it might get a little heavy at times. In that case, you can even make it with yellow moong dal or dhuli masoor dal (orange dal).

What is tadka in English?

Tadka is translated as “Tempering” in English. It is a cooking method mostly used in Indian cuisines. For this, oil or ghee is heated and then some whole or ground spices are added to it. The spices are sizzled for a few seconds and then that is added to the recipe like dal, kadhi, etc. It drastically enhances the flavor of the dish.

Can we cook dal without pressure cooker?

Yes. Of course. Any dal can be made without a pressure cooker. It’s just that some lentils take a much longer time to cook and that is why cooking them in a pressure cooker is much easier and time-saving. Always, presoak lentils before cooking for faster cooking and for better absorption of certain nutrients. Following lentils can be easily cooked in a saucepan:

  1. Toor Dal
  2. Yellow Moong Dal
  3. Green Moong Dal
  4. Dhuli Masoor Dal
  5. Dhuli Urad dal

Lentils that take a much longer time to cook are:

  1. Chickpeas
  2. Kidney Beans
  3. Masoor Chilka
  4. Urad (Whole)
  5. Chana Dal

Soak these lentils overnight and then cook in a saucepan with some water until soft and perfectly cooked.

What is jeera in english?

Cumin Seeds

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