A while ago, we were having dinner at our go to restaurant with my family and my father expressed his desire to order the Humble Dahi Tadka even though it wasn’t on the menu. Since we were dining at a sever star property, the restaurant took it as a challenge, but It took the chef two attempts to have something presentable on our table. It was quite close to what we had in mind but couldn’t be perfected in that amount of time.
That moment made me explore the recipe and after 3-4 tries i came up with a recipe that actually works. No split curds, no funny tasting ingredients and actually not that difficult to make.
A simple, mild, aromatic dish, which is warm and satisfying, packed with maximum flavour possible.
Dahi/ Yogurt (Plain), 200 Grams (stranied for ½ hour to 2 hours)
Onion, 1 Medium, finely chopped
Tomato, 1 Medium, finely chopped
Ginger,1 teaspoon, finely chopped
Green Chilli 1, finely chopped
Coriander Leaves, 1tbsp, finely chopped
Cumin Seeds ½ tsp
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Coriander Powder 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder To taste
Salt to taste
Garam Masala ¼ tsp
Refined Oil, 2-3 tsp.
Take a big bowl, line with a thin mesh strainer and dump in the yogurt/ Dahi. Let the excess water drain out by leaving it to rest for half hour to 2 hours in the fridge.
In a pan, heat 2-3 tsp of oil and add the cumin seeds.
Add the onions to the crackled cumin seeds and cook them on medium flame for about 2 minutes.
Add in the chopped ginger and green chillies and cook properly till the onions are light brown.
At this stage, add the Turmeric, Red Chilli and Coriander powders, lightly sauté for about 20 seconds and add the chopped tomatoes.
Keep stirring to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan and after 1-2 mins, add salt to taste. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium flame.
You might see the mixture getting charred and sticking to the pan. If that happens, add 1 tsp water and cook again. When the tomatoes are reduced to less than half, add in 3-4 teaspoons of water slowly and bring to a boil, till it all becomes a thick mush again.
Finally add the Garam Masala, mix it in and again add about 1-2 table spoons of water, bring to a boil till it looks like a very thick gravy.
Now, remove the pan from the heat- Very Important! and stir in the Thick yogurt and coriander leaves.
If serving immediately, let it rest for 5 mins and then heat again for not more than 1 minute, transfer in the serving dish and garnish with finely chopped coriander. If you want to serve later, transfer in a microwavable bowl and heat it for about 30 seconds- 1minute, stir again and serve.
Note: it is important to strain the yogurt so that it is not runny. Also, do not forget to turn off the heat before adding in the yogurt so that it doesn’t turn or split.
Serve with warm and hearty rice pulav/ biryani or with Naan/ Paratha.