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Monday, 27 June 2016

Dal Fry Recipe

Dal Fry is a popular Indian lentil dish . It is a spicy Punjabi recipe made generally from Yellow Pigeon Peas / Toovar dal ( also known as Arhar dal) .This simple yet flavorful and aromatic dal preparation is a treat to the taste buds. Almost all the roadside eateries ( Dhabas) and global Indian Restaurants serve this delicacy . Dal fry tastes best with Jeera Rice though it goes well even with phulka, or paratha.

The recipe to this flavorful dish is very simple and easy to follow. The Toovar dal is first boiled in a pressure cooker till it is soft and completely cooked . Then onions , tomatoes and Indian curry spices are sauteed in pure ghee to make the base to which this mashed and cooked dal is added and simmered further till the dal gets all the flavours of spices and herbs from the base mixture. This also gives the Dal fry the desired thick consistency. Though Dal fry is generally made using , Toovar dal , it can also be made using a mix of moomg dal , arhar dal , Massor dal , Chana dal.

  • 1/2 cup Toovar dal / Yellow Pigeon Peas
  • 2-3 tbsp pure Ghee / clarified Butter
  • 2 Whole red Chilies , deseeded
  • 2 green chilies , finely chopped or slit
  • 7-8 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of root Ginger
  • 1 medium sized Onion , finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized Tomato , finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds 
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
  • 1-2 pinch of Asafoetida / Hing
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red Chilly powder
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1-2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  1. Wash the Toovar dal thoroughly under running water. Soak the dal in 1 cup water for 20 minutes. Though soaking is not compulsory, but this saves the cooking time and gas and ensures the dal gets completely cooked. 

  2.  Take the soaked dal along with the water in which it was soaked, plus 1 cup more water in a pressure cooker. Add a pinch of Asafoetida , Turmeric powder and few drops of ghee to the dal. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook the dal for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is soft and completely cooked. Mash the cooked dal and keep aside.

  3. In another sauce pan, heat up ghee and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter add the cumin seeds.

  4. Once a crackling sound is heard, add the finely chopped garlic and ginger. Saute until the raw smell goes. Now add the red and green chilies followed by finely chopped onions. saute the onions until they turn translucent.

  5. At this stage add hing , turmeric powder, red chilly powder and mix well. To this spice mix add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute till the mixture starts leaving ghee.

  6. Add the mashed and cooked dal to this ready onion, tomato and spice base. Stir well. Add 1 cup hot water and let the dal boil. You may adjust the water as per the consistency you wish to keep, but adding more water will dilute the dal and make it less flavorful. Dal fry has a slightly thick consistency.

  7.  Now add salt to the dal . Mix well and simmer it for another 2-3 minutes, so that all the flavours of spices get mixed well with the dal.  Take kasuri methi and rub it between the palms and add to the ready dal followed by the addition of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Put off the flame after 1 -2 minutes. 

  8. Serve the dal hot with Jeera Rice. You may squeeze out a juice of 1 lemon and add to the dal before serving or top it with some pure ghee. 

  I hope you would like to give this recipe a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back.
For more North Indian curries and dal recipes, do check my posts on


  1. Wow mouthwatering and very tasty looking recipe. I will definitely try this at home. Have you tried Pakistani Cooking Recipes I love all Pakistani Recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes

  2. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your meal with more recipes on Chefmeghnas