Dal Fry

Easy Dal Fry which goes so well with boiled rice or tandoori roti.


4 People


30 Mins.


15 mins

You will need

3/4 cup toor dal pigeon pea lentil, 150 grams

1/4 cup masoor dal red lentil, 50 grams

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon salt divided

4 cups water divided

1 tablespoon oil or can use ghee

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 whole dried red chili broken

1/4 teaspoon hing asafoetida

1 medium red onion finely chopped

7-8 large garlic cloves crushed using mortar & pestle

1.5 inch ginger crushed using mortar & pestle

1 green chili sliced, or more to taste

2 medium tomatoes chopped

1/8 teaspoon garam masala

1/8 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste

1 teaspoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves, crushed

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + more to garnish

Let’s get cooking!


Rinse the dal (I used mix of toor and masoor) and transfer to an instant pot or pressure cooker. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 cups water. Stir.


Boil the dal using either- Instant Pot: cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with natural pressure release. Stove-top pressure cooker: cook for 4 to 5 whistles on high then lower the heat and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.


Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add dried red chili and hing and saute for few seconds.


Add onions (also add 1/4 teaspoon salt for the onions to cook faster) and cook for around 4 minutes until soft and light golden brown in color.


Add crushed garlic-ginger and sliced green chili. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.


Add the chopped tomatoes and stir.


Then add the garam masala, red chili powder and mix. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until tomatoes are very soft and cooked and oil oozes from the side of the masala. This step is important, don't rush it. Stir in between and I also added around 2 tablespoon water so that the masala doesn't burn.


Now add the boiled dal to the pan and mix. Add water to thin out the dal at this pont, I added 1 cup water here, you can add as per your taste.


Add kasuri methi, chopped cilantro. Also add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix.


Let the dal simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on low-medium heat. You can serve the dal at this step or do the extra step of giving it a smokey flavor (dhungar method)..