Lentils With Tamarind Tetul Dal

Imli Dal, Tenga Dal, Tok Dal, Tetul Dal or Tamarind Dal, whatever you call it its a lush, sour Dal, combining Tamarind for an amazing taste!

Those that know me will know that I have a weakness for sour foods. This Dal is a frequent go to as I can make this as hot or sour as I want. Thick or thin as I want.
It can be a soup or a curry. You will have the pleasure of choosing!

So what is Tamarind you ask?

It’s a delicious sweet and sour fruit in a pod where the pulp is eaten raw, at times added in dishes as a souring agent. Often its used as a sauce to accompany food. There is more in the blog about fruits. Lets Talk about Fruit Bengali Exotic Fruits

What’s this Dal supposed to be like? Dal Lentils

Well this is normally a thick and sour Dal, a flavourful dish made using masoor or toor dal. Tangy with a good helping of tomatoes braised gently as the Dal cooks adding an additional layer of flavour and tang! Bengalis love sour dishes and this dal is prepared using tamarind, finished with a temper of curry leaves, mustard seeds, chilli powder and garlic.

Tamarind is used throughout India. A popular in both South Indian and Bengali cuisine. LETS TALK ABOUT VEG!!

You can use lemon juice in place of tamarind to give the sour taste to the dal however you will miss the flavours and fruity taste of the tamarind.

Tetul Dal can be eaten accompanying meat or chicken dish. I do have a leaning towards having it with hot rice and fried fish! Crispy Fried Sprat Fish
You can serve it with flatbreads or fried puris too but whatever you do, try it!


1 cup Tuvar Dal (Toor Dal) or red Masoor Dal
Salt (To taste)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2-3 Green chillies (Slit into halves)
1 cup Tomatoes (Chopped)
4 or 3 tbsp Tamarind pulp (preference) I like mine sour!
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tsp Red chilli powder

3 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tsp Cumin seeds
4 cloves Garlic (Crushed)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies
1 Green chilli slit

For the Tempering you will need:


Wash the Masoor Dal well and place in a pressure cooker or pan along with 4 cups of water, salt, turmeric powder, tomato, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder and green chilies.

Pressure cook/or in a pan, cook dal till it’s done.
If using pressure cooker, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and let the pressure release. Do the same for stove top method. Open the lid and check the dal is cooked. You can do this by pressing the cooking spoon against pan sides or just pressing it between your fingers to check its smooth.

Use a whisk or blender and blend the dal just a few pulses. Add the tamarind pulp in the dal and mix well.

How to Temper Your Tetul Dal.

Heat some oil in a pan.
When the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry till slightly browned.

Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let them crackle and pop for a few seconds.

Add dry red chilies and curry leaves and let then crackle for a few seconds.

Pour the tempering over the dal.

Garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve as you wish. I serve with hot rice and crispy fried fish.


Curry leaves are optional but I add them to the temper when I get hold of fresh ones.

You will need extra salt as with sour food it requires a little additional salt for balance.

Garlic/ginger is optional too. You can make this without. Add a pinch of hing to temper and use Panch Puran instead of mustard and cumin.

Turmeric powder and Cumin seeds used were courtesy of The Herb and Spice Emporium. Please click on link for sellers details.

Copyright © 2020 -2021 Papli Rani Dey
All Rights Reserved

Leave a Reply