Dal Fry - The Punjabi Way

Dal Fry by Meeta K. Wolff 0201

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 100g Toor dal - Split pigeon peas
  • 100g Mung dal - split mung beans
  • 100g Channa dal - split chickpea
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • A small piece of ginger, mashed
  • ½ green chili, finely chopped
  • small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Wash all the dals well, then soak in a bowl for about 20 minutes. Place the dals in a pressure cooker and fill it with enough water to just cover the dal. On medium heat allow to boil then place the lid of the pressure cooker and cook till the dal is soft but still retains it’s consistency. This process can also be done in a pot, it will just take a little longer for the dal to cook.
  2. While the dal is cooking place a large saucepan and heat on medium. Melt the 1 tablespoon of ghee. Add the turmeric powder once the ghee is hot. Then add the onions making sure not to brown but sauté until they turn translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Now add the other dry spices - cumin, coriander, garam masala and chili powder - to the pan and cook for about 10 seconds.
  3. Once the dal is cooked transfer it to the pan with the onions and spices, adding salt to taste. Check the desired consistency, adding water if it is too thick. Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat a small skillet on medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons of ghee. Add the mustard seeds and heat until they begin to pop.
  5. Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, garlic, ginger and chilies cooking for a few minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture over the dal, mix dal well, adjusting the seasoning. Top with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or fresh chapattis or nans.

Notes: You will find detailed information about the Indian Spice Kitchen in my Food Guide.

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