There are a ton of dhabas (Punjabi roadside shacks) in and around Kolkata. The most common food a bong orders there is “tadka-roti”. So it’s common for Bongs to ask for the same when they travel to North India expecting to be provided with the even better local version. However, all they get back is empty stares. Tadka is actually the n ame of tempering and not that of the dish, it’s rather “daal, tadka marke”.
Tadka is available in 3 types plain, egg and mutton tadka. Mostly served in earthen pots with phulka or tandoori roti.
- 1 cup moong dal or whole green gram
- 3-4 tbsp of chaana dal (Bengal gram)
- 2 tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp grated garlic
- 1 tbsp kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 tbsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 5, 6 green chilies finely chopped
- Chopped coriander greens
- Ghee / clarified butter
- 1 tbsp of Bengali garam masala (http://www.bongcook.com/2011/11/bengali-garam-masala-powder.html)
Wash moong dal and chaana dal thoroughly. Remember there is more pesticide than daal in the bag that you opened
In a pressure cooker cook both the dals with a pinch of turmeric and salt along with 3 cups of water. In case you don’t have a pressure cooker handy, soak the daals overnight and cook in a closed lid pan for 30 mins. Open the lid after the pressure releases.
In a frying pan heat oil and add chopped onion. Fry it on medium heat till the onions become light brown. Add grated garlic and ginger to it. Fry till raw smell goes away.
Add chopped tomato to it. Fry it along with turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder on low heat till it becomes mushy and the oil starts oozing out from the spices.
At this point add boiled dal. Season with salt and sugar. Let it come to a boil. When the dal starts boiling add kasuri methi and green chilies. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. It will help the dal to get the flavor of the chilies without making it hot.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander greens.
Before serving heat ghee in a small pan and temper it with the garam masala. Pour it over the dal and give it a nice mix. Serve with hot phulkas ar tandoori rotis.
This as you have guessed is the plain-tadka. To make egg-tadka scramble eggs and mix it in. For mutton tadka, cook minced meat along with the daal.