Instant Dal Tadka Brands in India 2021 Review
Want to know why we picked ITC Kitchen Of India Yellow Dal Tadka as our Top Pick? Read on.
For a lot of people, yellow dal or dal tadka defines comfort. Whether you’ve had a long, hard day or are just looking for a simple meal to unwind, dal-chawal is often the answer. And what if you don’t have to cook it? Even better.
Instant meals provide an occasional relief from tedious prep-work and cooking time. We picked three Instant dal tadka brands in India and tested them on various parameters. Even though homemade dal is incomparable, we wanted to check which instant yellow dal tadka comes closest to a bowl of home-style dal.
Table of Contents
Ready To Eat Dal Tadka Brands in India
Value For Money
Ready To Eat Dal Tadka Brands in India – Everything You Need To Know
This section discusses which ready to eat dal tadka brands we picked, why we picked them, their prices, available sizes, packaging and more.
1. Reviewed Brands
We picked three popularly available brands of ready-to-eat dal tadka. We ordered these three brands because they are easily available online and offline.
- MTR Ready-To-Eat Dal Fry
- Kitchens Of India Yellow Dal Tadka
- Haldiram’s Minute Khana Dal Tadka
Even after several trials, Kohinoor and Gits were unavailable on multiple platforms. This is why we did not include them in our review. This also helps us gauge an important aspect of our review – availability.
2. Available Sizes
Ready-to-eat meals usually serve 1-2 people per pack. These can vary from brand to brand.
On an average, a single pack can weigh between 250-300 gms.
3. Usage Information
Usually instant meals can be cooked using three methods – In a microwave, on a gas top or by immersing it in hot water. These methods may differ in every brand, so read the label carefully before proceeding.
Dals are best enjoyed with a ghee-smeared roti, paratha or a bowl of steamed rice.
4. Price Range
A single pack weighing 250-300 gms is priced between Rs 85/- to Rs 110/-.
The dals come packaged in a carton. Inside the carton is a sealed bag that holds the ready-to-eat dal.
Our Review Factors to Find the Best Instant Dal Tadka Brand
For our best instant dal tadka review we set the following parameters –
1. Dal Type And Combination
The type of dal or the combination of dals used makes a lot of difference to the overall flavor profile of the final dish.
We wanted to check if the dals used in the ready-to-eat meal compliment each other? Do they pair well with each other?
Is the dal too watery or too gloopy? Is the dal too mushy or does it have a certain bite?
Does the dal look appetising? Is it too yellow or does the haldi (turmeric) color look natural? Does the tadka add a pop of color to the dal?
Flavor includes testing the seasoning, the taste of the tadka, and the innate flavor and aroma of the dals.
How does the tadka help enhance the taste of the overall dish? Can we taste and smell the aromatics like hing/heeng and jeera?
Does the dal hold its own earthy flavor or does it get lost in an overdone tadka?
Is it priced competitively? If priced higher than its competition, does the list of ingredients/quality of the dal justify it?
Instant Dal Tadka Brands in India – Detailed Review
Be it a simple tadka with aromatics like asafoetida (heeng), cumin (jeera), red chillies and ginger spluttered in hot ghee or an elaborate one with tomatoes and onions. A good tadka can make or break the taste of the dal. Don’t you think so too?
Here is a comparison table of the three instant dal tadka brands in India that we reviewed.
1. Kitchens of India Yellow Dal Tadka – Mishry Top Pick
Kitchen Of India Yellow Dal Tadka is a combination of arhar dal and masoor/masur dal. This is a familiar and loved dal combination.
There are two things which we absolutely loved about the Kitchens Of India Yellow Dal tadka. Firstly, the flavor comes very close to homemade dal. Secondly, the tadka is spot on. It doesn’t feel as if you’re eating a ready-to-eat meal. The flavors are not overbearing, and neither is the seasoning too in-your-face. It’s subtle and delicious. The dal to tadka ratio is very well balanced.
Coming to the texture of the dal. Masur dal brings in thickness while the arhar provides a slight bite. It is a slightly ‘khada-khada’ dal and has not dissolved completely.
While it may not exactly be a major drawback, the cooked dal is very thick. It doesn’t have a consistency which can be relished with rice as it is. You may want to add some water to it. If pairing it with a roti or paratha, this consistency might work.
- A 285 gm pack of the Kitchens Of India Yellow Dal Tadka is priced at Rs 110/-.
- Date of packaging is April 2021, Expiry – January 2024
- This can be heated using three methods – heating on a stove top, heating on a microwave and by immersing it in a hot water bath.
- Ingredients – Water, Arhar dal (8.8%), Tomatoes (8.8%), Onions (8.8%), Masur dal, Refined sunflower oil, Coriander leaves (1.9%), Garlic (0.9%), Iodised salt, Spices and condiments (0.5%), Ginger and cumin (0.2%)
- This meal has no added preservatives.
- It is made using a technology where food is treated at a high temperature under extreme pressure.
- The dal has a delicious tadka.
- The tomato tadka tastes very fresh and has a slight tang.
- We loved the balance of dal and tadka.
- Thumbs up for the mild bite the arhar dal provides.
- This has no preservatives.
Best Suited For
People who are craving a homestyle Indian meal while travelling, this yellow dal tadka is a good option. For those who are looking for a quick dinner fix after a long day at work, the dal by Kitchens Of India comes close to a bowl of homemade dal.
2. Haldiram Ready To Eat Dal Tadka – Value For Money Pick
Haldiram’s uses a combination of arhar and chana dal. This dal has a strong hing aroma than the others.
The consistency of the dal is perfect and can be had with some rice and chapati. It isn’t gloopy or runny. Color wise too, this resembled a bowl of homemade dal with that characteristic natural turmeric color.
We felt that this is a bit over seasoned. Plus, it was a bit sour. The salt and tomato tang were on a much higher side which might affect the overall flavor profile of the dal. If you like stronger flavors and robust tadkas, this might be the pick for you.
Haldiram’s dal is also the cheapest amongst the all three contenders, making it our Value For Money Pick.
- A 300 gm pack of Haldiram’s Dal Tadka is priced at Rs 85/-.
- Shelf life is 12 months.
- Ingredients – Water, Split pulse red gram (15%), Tomatoes, Onions, Refined vegetable oil (Sunflower, Cotton seed, Corn), Split gram, Ginger, Garlic, Green chilli, Iodised salt, Coriander powder, Red chilli, Turmeric powder, Cumin, Coriander leaves and Dried fenugreek leaves.
- Allergen information – Manufactured in a facility that processes food containing milk, wheat, mustard seeds, tree nuts, celery, soya and peanut components.
- This ready-to-eat dal by Haldiram’s is the cheapest amongst all other contenders.
- The dal has the perfect consistency.
- We felt it was overseasoned.
Best Suited For
If you’re looking for a tasty ready-to-eat yellow dal which is pocket-friendly, the Haldiram’s Dal Tadka is an ideal option.
3. MTR Dal Fry
MTR’s Dal Fry is a combination of red gram dal (Arhar) and green gram dal (moong). Due to the combination of dals used, the texture of the final dish is thicker and has a very ‘ghutti hui’ consistency.
This dal was the spiciest amongst all the contenders and some may find this a tad bit oversalted. This dal had a dark brown color post-cooking.
Even though this dal was the only one which had ghee in its list of ingredients, we could not taste it. We could not find any home-style flavors in this dal.
- The MTR Dal Fry is priced at Rs 110/- for a box of 300 gms.
- This can be heated using two methods – Pan cooking and by immersing the unopened pouch in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
- Ingredients – Water, Red gram dal (9%), Onion, Refined sunflower oil, Tomato, Ghee, Green gram dal (2.3%), Garlic, Salt, Green Chilli, Coriander leaves, Red chilli, Turmeric powder and Cumin.
- Shelf life – 12 months
- Allergen advice – Contains milk products and may contain traces of nuts.
- The dal has a balanced consistency. It’s neither too thick, nor too watery.
- This dal is a bit oversalted.
- We could not find any home style flavors in this dal.
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose Kitchens Of India Yellow Dal Tadka as our Top Pick?
We usually order ready-to-eat meals because they provide the ultimate convenience when you’re travelling or are looking for a quick meal fix at home after a long day. We also look for home-style flavors in these packaged meals. Which is why Kitchens Of India Yellow Dal Tadka won our review. The Kitchens Of India Yellow Dal Tadka comes closest to a bowl of homemade dal with a flavorful tadka.
Why is Haldiram’s Dal Tadka our Value For Money Pick?
Haldiram’s Dal Tadka has a brilliant home-style consistency. It doesn’t feel watered down or too thick. It has a robust tadka that might be suitable for people who like strong hing and tomato flavors in a dal. A pack of 300 gm dal for 85 Rupees is definitely a value for money option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on ready to cook dal tadka brands.
1. What is dal tadka masala made of?
Tadkas can range from a simple hing-jeera to an elaborate tomato and kasuri methi one. Depending on your liking and the type of dal you’re cooking with, the tadka recipe can change.
2. Do ready to eat dal fry brands contain preservatives and artificial colours?
Some brands may add color and preservatives to ready-to-eat meals. It is advised to read the labels carefully especially if you’re allergic to specific ingredients.
3. What dishes go well with dal tadka?
Dal is comfort food. Two things that go brilliantly well with a bowl of yellow dal are steamed rice and ghee-smeared chapatis. Add a portion of chopped onion-cucumber-tomato salad on the side and you have a full meal.
4. Do you need to add dal in readymade dal tadka?
No. Nothing needs to be added to a ready-to-eat dal. You only need to heat it up.
5. Is dal fry and dal tadka the same?
The tadka that goes into the dal makes the difference. The combination of dals and the type of tadka can vary in each household. When the dal has a tempering of ghee, hing and jeera it’s usually called a dal tadka. When the tadka involves onions and tomatoes being fried (भूनना) in some form of fat and being used to make the dal flavorful, it is referred as dal fry.
Final Verdict – Best Ready-To-Eat Dal Tadka
None of the ready-to-eat dal tadkas were inedible or had an unnatural taste. These are all single-serving dals that can be enjoyed while you’re travelling or are too lazy to cook after a long day.
We chose Kitchens Of India Yellow Dal Tadka as our Top Pick because it provided homestyle flavors. Haldiram’s is our Value For Money Pick because it is comparatively cheaper and meant for people who like stronger flavours in their dal.
Do you carry ready-to-eat meals while travelling? Which one is your must-have during a trip abroad?
More Reviews From Our Ready-To-Eat Section
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