Chicken Tadka – Dhaba Style

After the ‘Punjabi Dal Makhani’ turned out to be the most viewed recipe in my blog, among all dal or tarka dal recipies, I decided to post a few more variations of ‘Tadka Dal’, the kind which is very popular across Kolkata, especially in Dhabas of West Bengal. Needless to say for most of us ‘Tadka Dal’ is the most common and popular dish to be ordered widely in Dhabas and Restaurants. The first one is with Chicken and the other one is with egg (Egg Tadka).


‘Chicken Tadka’ is one of my favourite items whenever I dine in Dhaba. It has that rustic flavour which is very soul-touching. In fact, whenever I go for a vacation out of Kolkata, among all the foods listed to be had during my tour, ‘Chicken Tadka’ is one of the must-haves. It is one of those items you cannot avail anywhere else other than ‘Dhabas’. I guess the slow cooking process on wood fire gives a very distinct flavor!

Though I have cooked the dal in pressure cooker but the flavor was awesome. You can try this same recipe without chicken too. It is so yummy that you’ll make this quite often.


  • 150 gms Chicken – (Boneless–chopped into small pieces)
  • 200 gms Urad Dal/Whole Black Gram
  • 1 (Large-chopped) Tomato
  • 3 Tbsps Onion Paste
  • 1 (Finely chopped) Onion
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 ½ tsps Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chillie Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek/Kasuri Methi
  • 2 – 3 Green Chilies
  • 2 tsps Lemon Juice
  • 2 – 3 Tbsps Oil
  • 2 tsps Amul Butter or Ghee
  • To taste Salt
For tempering:
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Dry Red Whole Chillie
For garnishing:
  • Chopped coriander


  1. Soak the dal overnight for at least 6-7 hours before you cook it. Now in a pressure cooker, cook the dal with turmeric powder, a little salt and water till 1-2 whistles.
  2. Marinate the chicken pieces with lemon juice, a little salt and a little garam masala powder.
  3. Heat oil in pan. When oil turns hot, add the ingredients mentioned under for tempering. Allow them to sputter.
  4. Add chopped onion and brown them a bit before adding other ingredients.
  5. Add ginger paste and garlic paste and fry till oil separates.
  6. Add the marinated chicken and shallow fry the chicken. When the chicken is shallow fried, add the onion and tomato paste. Fry till the chicken pieces are done and onion is fried.
  7. Now add the powder spices – cumin powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and half of kasuri methi. Now sauté till oil begins to float on the surface. (Add a bit of water or chicken stock in case the mixture turns dry.)
  8. When the spices are well incorporated into the gravy and chicken is tender, pour the dal in. About this time you may add chicken stock or water again measuring the consistency you want. Since the dish is with thick and semi-dry gravy, the quantity of chicken stock or water to be added would be minimal.
  9. Mix in chopped green chillies, garam masala powder and kasuri methi. Give the dal a good stir and cook covered on low flame for about 5 minutes.
  10. Finally stir in the ghee or Amul Butter and switch off the flame.
  11. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with Roti, Butter Naan, Garlic Naan, Paratha or Rumali roti.



2 thoughts on “Chicken Tadka – Dhaba Style

  1. My wife used to lampoon me ( of course lovingly ) Bangalir investment holo tar pet. You seem to carry the same torch forward. You will not believe that i would come to Kolkata several times to eat good food and fly back home with baggage packed with sweats , fish and nonta foods.


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