Secret of Dhabe wali daal or Daal Tadka!

In my childhood, when I travelled via road, I used to eat food in dhaba. The menu which I still remember was mainly Dum Aloo, Daal Tadka and Tandoori Rotis.
After so many years, I found secrets of that mouth watering daal i.e. Daal Tadka.
First is that the daal is not cooked in pressure cooker, but boiled in a simple pan with lid.
Secondly I found the secret behind its heavenly taste is Lohe ki Kadai!!! (Iron Pan). Any dish/recipe, if made in lohe ki kadai (iron pan) is more tasty and healthy (contains lots of iron thus very good for kids) than an aluminium or non-stick kadai.


  1. Boil Arhar daal with water, namak and haldi in a steel pan with its lid closed. Stir it at intervals till it is completely boiled.
  2. Put another iron pan on gas (medium flame). Add ghee/oil. When iron pan is hot or when ghee/oil is hot, add zeera, heeng, adrak and hari mirch.
  3. Sorte a while.
  4. Now add tomato puree or finely chopped tomatoes. Add laal mirch, dhaiya powder.
    (If onion garlic has to be aded, add them at this point, sorte, and then add tomato puree)
  5. After tomatoes are fried, add the boiled daal to the iron pan. Boiled daal should be hot.
  6. Add garam masala powder.
  7. After 2-3 boils, take the daal out of iron pan to some other bartan/dish/container.
  8. Add green dhaniya. Add lid to the daal dish.
  9. Add ghee from above while serving.
  10. That’s it.

Point to remember while preparing recipe in Lohe ki Kadai (Iron Pan) are:

  1. Add the ingredients i.e. ghee/oil/zeera - only when the pan is hot.
  2. Remove daal from iron pan immediately else it will loose its taste and will get blackened.
  3. If khatai/amchur powder/lemon has to be added in daal, add it only after the daal is put in another container. Dont add it while the daal is in iron pan.

    (This image is taken from Google)
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