Indian Cooking At Home: Tadka Dal

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Indian Cooking At Home with Sunil Ghai

Are you ready to learn how to make easy, delicious Indian dishes worthy of any top notch Indian restaurant? Then don’t miss this fabulous new chef recipe series brought to you by I Love Cooking in association with Award Winning Chef Sunil Ghai one Ireland’s most talented Indian Chefs.

We will showcase a series of delicious Indian recipes which you can use our essential spice guide to help you along the way.

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Learn how to make a Tadka Dal. This quick and easy vegetarian dish from Northern India is famous for its spicing.

Tadka Dal


For the lentils:

  • 300g mixed red lentils & yellow split peas
  • 1l water, for cooking
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger

For the sauce:

  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chillies, cut in half lengthways
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Water, for cooking
  • Small handful fresh coriander, roughly torn
  • Squeeze of lemon


  1. Rinse the dry lentils 3-4 times until the water runs clear. Place in bowl and cover with plenty of water, leave to soak for about ½ an hour. Drain lentils and place in a large pot with 1l of water. Stir in the turmeric, salt and fresh ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft and cooked through.
  2. Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Break the dry red chilli in half and add to the hot oil along with the cumin seeds, green chilli, onion and garlic. Cook for 30 – 60 seconds just until fragrant and starting to turn a light golden brown.
  3. Add the dry spices and salt and cook for another 60 seconds, then add the tomato. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomato has started to soften and break down. Stir in a splash of water then add the cooked lentils. Add another splash of water to thin the sauce if needed, then leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. At the end of cooking, stir in the fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Serve hot with more coriander for garnish and a drizzle of chilli oil, if desired.

Sunil Ghai's Essential Spice Guide, I Love Cooking videos, Sunil Ghai, Pickle Restaurant, Tiffin by sunil

About Sunil Ghai:

Renowned for his bold, contemporary cooking style Sunil Ghai was born in India and grew up in the prosperous city of Gwalior in Indeuwklooeia.

Former Corporate Chef of the Jaipur & Ananda Restaurant Group he is considered to be the leading Indian chef in Ireland and the recipient of an impressive array of awards including FOOD&WINE Magazine’s Chef of the Year 2009. 

He is currently at the helm of his own Venture at Pickle Restaurant and Eating House on Camden Street , Dublin 2. He has recently just opened Tiffin By Sunil with his wife Leena, a delicatessen with a difference located in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

He believes his success is down to the creative cooking talents of his father. According to Sunil “Many of my influences in the creation of my recipes come from my father He has a fantastic imagination when it comes to cooking and I have yet to taste food quite like it.” 

Sunil’s home city of Gwalior was an ideal starting point for his career as an aspiring chef he says.  Known as the city of music it boasts over 400 years of royal music patronage,  which also brought with it the best cuisine from every corner of the nation. Sunil’s first passion in life was cricket followed by his mother’s first love – cooking. “The wonderful thing about growing up in Gwalior was the eclectic influences all around you. It’s a melting pot of culinary delights from all over the many different regions of India,” says Sunil. 


  • Best chef 2006 food and wine magazine
  • Best chef 2008 food and wine magazine 
  • Best Indian restaurant 2006
  • Best world cuisine 2009 food and wine magazine . 
  • Best chef  in Ireland 2009 food and wine magazine 
  • Best ethnic restaurant 2010 by restaurant association if Ireland 
  •  Best innovation of seafood award
  • Best chef  in Dublin award by restaurant association of Ireland 2013 
  • Best chef in Ireland by Santa Rita restaurant association of Ireland 
  • 2013 
  • Best restaurant in Dublin 
  • Best restaurant ethnic restaurant  2014 food and wine 
  • Best world cuisine award 2015 Restaurant association of Ireland 





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