Dal Fry- Punjabi style

  • Servings : 4-5
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 10m
  • Ready In : 20m

Indian diets consist of little or no meats. This means lentils are one of  the primary sources of proteins  and is ubiquitous in Indian meals. Dal is a essentially a preparation of dried lentils, peas or beans which have been skinned and split.  It is eaten with rice and vegetables in southern India, and with both rice and roti (Indian flatbread) in the rest if India.

Every state has its own style of making dal and there are probably a million recipes out there, ranging from the mild  Maharashtrian Varan, to the spicy Rasam and Sambhars of the South. Some dals are made just out of one kind of lentil, while others have a combination. The South Indian Sambhar has vegetables added  in, to make it a more wholesome meal. Sometimes also referred to as Yellow dal,  Dal fry is a spicy Punjabi version of dal. It is not only very popular and always on the restaurant menus, but also it is very nutritious because it is made by cooking a variety of dals together. Try it, I hope you like my version!


  • Toor Dal- 1/4 cup
  • Yellow moong dal- 1/4 cup
  • Channa dal (Split Bengal gram)-1/8 cup
  • Masoor dal (red lentils)- 1/4 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter)- 2 tbsp
  • Jeera (Cumin seeds)- 2 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida)- 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
  • Tomato, finely chopped- 1
  • Onion (finely chopped)- 1
  • Garlic grated- 2 cloves
  • Ginger grated- 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped- 2 tsp
  • Hot water- 1/4 cup
  • Salt to taste




Step 1

Mix all the dals together and wash them properly. You could use a mixture of dals or just use Tur (Arhar) dal. My policy is to use whats on hand.

Step 2

Pressure cook the dal in 2 cups of water with salt and 1 tsp of turmeric powder till done.

Step 3

In a frying pan, heat the ghee. Do not let the ghee get too hot, as it starts blackening. When it starts to get hot, add in the jeera (cumin) seeds. Cumin seeds tend to burn quickly, so add in the asafoetida immediately.

Step 4

Add in the chopped onions. Fry on medium heat until onions turns pinkish in colour. Add garlic, ginger and green chilli and cook till light brown in colour.

Step 5

Add the rest of the powders and cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium flame, ensuring that the mixture does not get burnt. To this add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes till the tomatoes are little soft.

Step 6

Then add the cooked dal and mix well. Let boil for 2-3 minutes.

Step 7

Add a little more hot water to it to bring it to the desired consistency. In my experience, the addition of hot water always enhances the taste of dal. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer at least for 5 minutes.

Step 8

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or parathas.

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