Dal Tadka Mix in a Jar. Pink Lentil soup in a Jar. Vegan Glutenfree Recipe

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You heard that right. You can now make a Jhakaas (means awesome/superb in hindi slang) restaurant style Tadka Dal(Daal/dahl) or Dal Fry in your kitchen or make these jars and gift them to introduce everyone around to some awesome Indian Lentil soup! Or Care packages or make and keep some for days when you want a quick meal.:)

The jar has Masoor Dal- Pink/Orange Lentils, which are Indian brown lentils which have been split and skinned. And there are pouches for the Tadka/tempering with all the goodies that you would need spice up the cooked lentils. Cumin, mustard seeds, Garam masala, onion flakes, curry leaves, fenugreek leaves and the lot! Cannot get a better stocking stuffer than a spiced lentil soup, to cook up and sit by the window and watch the snow. 

You can make the jar with regular(whole) lentils or other split or whole beans too. Just change the instructions for amount of water needed and cook time. Masoor Dal cooks up in 12-15 minutes. Brown Lentils will cook up in 30-40 minutes and will need an additional half cup of water. 

To sum it all up. Make this!

More Dals that you can Jar up
Mom's Mung Dal Tadka
Mung Bean and Split Pigeon Pea Stew 
Oil-free Masoor Dal Pink Lentil soup with shallots
Toor Dal with crisp cilantro and Bay Leaf
Kik Alicha - Ethiopian Split Pea Stew

and a lot more Daal options here

All the spices, leaves etc can be found in Indian stores and some also online and in bigger health stores. You can omit some of the harder to find ingredients from the tempering like curry leaves or fenugreek leaves. The resulting Dal will still be delicious. 
Also check out the Resources Section on the blog. Here is the newly added Indian Pantry with names of spices, mixes, beans, lentils etc used in Indian cooking.

Steps to make the jar:
Make the red onion and garlic flakes. I made my own flakes since I like red onion, you can use store bought. Dehydrated half a red onion, 6 cloves of garlic and a few curry leaves at 225 degrees F.  

Make the Tadka Bags/Pouches.
Cumin and mustard seeds and dried Curry leaves in Bag 1.

Spices, onion, garlic flakes, methi leaves, red chili and turmeric in Bag 2.

Make the Daal.
Wash, drain and cook the lentils with 3 cups of water.

All cooked up

Make the Tadka/Tempering.

In a pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add the Seeds from Bag 1 when the oil is hot. Let them start to sizzle and sputter.

then add the curry leaves from Bag 1 and mix for a few.
Add the entire Bag 2. Cook for about half a minute, stirring frequently so the spices do not burn.
If you are planning to add vegetables to the soup, add cooked/blanched veggies or greens right now. Mix well to coat the masala.

Add the cooked lentils. Mix, bring to a boil and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. I would probably add a bit of chili powder right now.

All done in 20 minutes. Serve hot!

This above made from this below!

Dal Tadka Mix in a Jar. Pink Lentil soup.
Allergen Information: Free of Dairy, egg, corn, soy, yeast, nut, gluten, grain.

Serves 3-4

Jar: 1 16 oz , 2 cup Mason Jar
1 cup dry Pink/red/orange Lentils (Masoor Dal. Split and skinned Indian Brown lentils) 

Bag 1:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (Raee)
4-6 dried curry leaves
Bag 2:
2 Tablespoons dried Onion flakes
1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves(kasuri methi) or 1/8 tsp fenugreek seed powder
2 dried red chilies 

a generous pinch of asafoetida/hing (optional)

Additional items needed when cooking:

1 tsp salt
3 cups water
2 tsps oil


Add 1 cup lentils to the jar . Make the pouches/small bags for the tempering. Add to the jar. Seal and gift. 

Instructions on the Jar:

Remove pouches. Wash and drain the lentils. Cook lentils in a pan with 3 cups of water and 1 tsp salt(or to taste)(1/2 cup more water for thinner consistency). Bring to a boil on medium heat, then cook on low-medium for 12-15 minutes or until lentils are tender.
In another pan, add 2 tsps oil. Heat on medium. Add the seeds from Bag 1 to the oil when hot. Mix for a few seconds and cook till they start to sizzle and sputter. Add the curry leaves from bag 1 and mix. Add all the ingredients from Bag 2 and mix well. Cook for half a minute stirring frequently. Add the cooked Lentils to this pan(or add the tempering to the cooked lentils pan). Mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Serve hot. top with chopped cilantro (optional). All done in 20 minutes.
Serve with Naan flat bread, Pita, crackers, Rice, Quinoa or as is. 

Variations: Add 1 chopped tomato to the tempering after adding bag 2. Cook for 5 minutes until tomato is tender, then add lentils. Or add cooked/blanched veggies. 

Use dried Jalapeno instead of red chili in the bag. 

Notes: To make dried Red Onion flakes, garlic flakes and dry curry leaves:

I baked all at 225 degrees F. Half a medium onion chopped, took 2 hours. 6 cloves of garlic chopped took an hour and the fresh curry leaves spread along with the onion and garlic took half an hour to dry up. Move everything around every half hour for even drying.

This jar is being shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays, Ricki's wellness weekend.


  1. Richa, I am loving these meals in a jar! I have been wanting to give creative food gifts this year and you are giving me so many amazing ideas--thank you!

    1. Thank you Ashley! I love savory gifts anyday. there will be a a good balance of savory and sweet gift ideas this season:)

  2. Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to get this as a gift! It looks amazing!

  3. These look stunning. A superb idea for those familiar ( or Not) with indian cooking. So convenient to use as well. You rock, Richa Hingle!

  4. This looks SO nommy!! I was thinking about gifting brownie mix in a jar and all that, but I think this may be more appropriate for those with a salt-tooth in my family. Wonderful idea! :D

    1. I know right. the time and effort for both is similar so i think i would make and eat dal:)

  5. omigoshhhhhhh! i want this as a present!

    1. I know right. i should start sending these out!

  6. Any one would love to get this as a gift!

  7. I love this idea for holiday gifting! I've got so many gluten-free/grain-free/vegan friends that it's not worth it for me to do a traditional cookie plate any more. This is a great idea!

  8. Richa, Love your new site. These jars are so adorable. I am going to try and make them for hubs when I will be going out of town next time.

    Your work and dedication is very awesome! Keep it coming :)

  9. What a delightful and delicious gift idea, Richa! I would love to try the Dal Tadka from a jar! Have you thought about selling them, too?

  10. Hi Richa, I like everything in my jar too. I will try dehydrating onions and garlic a you did. I blog about homemade instant mix so was happy to find a likeminded blogger. I dehydrate green chillies and herbs in microwave but never tried onions. Nice meeting you.

  11. Love this alternative gift in a jar compared to all the sweet options!

  12. Have found everything except curry leaves. Can I substitute curry powder? How much? Thks.

    1. curry leaves are actually different form curry powder. just omit the leaves. with all the spices and garam masala the dal is going to taste great!

    2. thank you! I just made it without and it was delicious ( I added curry powder though) If have time will explore more... in LA and know there are Indian markets that I can visit!

    3. Thank you. Before seeing this I made it (w/powder) and it was still great! I know there are Indian markets in LA... will explore further ; )

  13. I accidentally got white dried onions. I made it and it was good- I like red, too so next xmas. I am putting this link with the instructions : )

  14. Please create a great dal Makani too! Thanks!


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Hi! I am Richa. I love to whip up plant-based meals which make me and hubbs swoon and not miss any animal or animal products in them. Find out more About Me here.

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