Last updated on July 8th, 2020
Dal fry recipe is the popular Indian dish of lentils cooked with spices. There are so many varieties of dal fry like lasooni dal but this recipe of dal is the most basic one.
You can make this simple dal recipe with just toor or arhar dal or a mix of toor and chana dal. Serve dal fry with piping hot rice, potato fry and salad for most comforting meal. This simple dal recipe also goes very well with jeera rice, peas pulao.
Dal Fry Recipe- Quintessential Indian Lentils Recipe
If there is one food that is so common and made in almost all Indian in one form or other it has to be dal recipe. Right from south Indian sambar, idli sambar to Andra pappu to Gujarati dal to dhaba dal, dal or lentils has such an important place in Indian kitchens.
This easy dal fry is delicious, flavorful with the right texture and healthy too. All you need are a pressure cooker, a small pan and few basic ingredients easily found in the kitchen to make this dal recipe.
I make this dal recipe at least once a week. Lentils are one of the primary source of protein for vegetarians. So I do include any one variety of lentils in our meal everyday like sambar, chole, palak dal, kali dal, dal makhani etc.
On days when I am pressed for time and want to make quick main dish this dal fry or dal tadka it would be. It practically takes just 15 minutes to whip this up.
This Dal Fry Is
Easy, Simple & Quick
Restaurant style & very flavorful
Delicious, comforting & satiating
Vegan & gluten free
Healthy & wholesome especially for toddlers and kids
Versatile dish that goes well with rice or roti.
Basic dal fry is made with arhar dal or toor dal (Split pigeon peas). However you can make this recipe with moong dal, channa dal and massor dal also. You can also a mix of assorted dals to make this dish more protein rich.
I mostly use a mix of arhar and moong dal for this recipe and sometimes I also add some chana dal.
What Goes In The Masala Of Dal Fry?
This dal recipe mostly gets its flavor from the simple and quick masala. You basically saute finely onion and tomatoes with a hint of spices. Add the well cooked lentils and mix well.
You will need whole spices like cumin seeds, dried red chilies for this recipe. Also a pinch of garam masala powder, coriander powder are added. I sometimes also add a pinch of roasted cumin powder for flavor.
How Is Dal Fry Made
To make Punjabi dal fry first of all pressure cook toor dal thoroughly. While the lentils are cooking saute the finely chopped onions and tomatoes with spice powders.
Then mix the cooked dal and simmer for few minutes so that the flavors develop. Finally garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
What Is The Difference Between Dal Fry and Dal Tadka?
Dal tadka and dal fry are two staple dal recipes in north India. Though the ingredients used are mostly same the two dishes are different in flavor and taste.
In dal tadka recipe dal is boiled or pressure cooked along with onions, tomatoes and green chilies. Finally a simple tadka or tempering of cumin seeds, dried chili is made in ghee and added to the cooked dal.
Whereas here you saute the onion and tomatoes along with spices and finally add the cooked dal. The consistency of fry is slightly thicker than dal tadka.
Tips For Making Best Dal Fry
Cooking the lentils- The key for delicious and smooth dal fry is to cook the lentils very well. You need to thoroughly cook and mash the lentils until smooth.
You can cook the lentils in pressure cooker or instant pot. You can cook lentils directly on stove top in a pan but it will take around 45 minutes for toor dal to cook well.
Once the lentils are cooked, mash them well with the back of ladle or potato masher until smooth. Also once the dal is cooked strain all the water and then mash the dal.
You can use the dal cooked water for adjusting consistency or make rasam or shorba with it.
Spices Used- This dal fry needs minimum spices and seasoning. Do not season this dish heavily as it will totally change the flavor. You can make this dhaba dal if you prefer more spicy and seasoned dal.
Ghee or Oil For Tempering?– Traditionally ghee or butter is used for this recipe. Ghee goes well any lentil recipe. Vegans can however use oil.
Also check checkout my small video on how to make dal fry in the recipe card below.
Pick and rinse 1/2 cup toor dal and add to a pressure cooker.
Add around 2 cups water and a pinch of salt.
Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Once the pressure is released, mash the dal wile its hot and set aside.
How To Make Dal Fry
Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. Next add the slit green chilies, red chilies, ginger and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the sliced onions and saute till translucent.
Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute till cooked and mushy.
Once tomatoes are well cooked add salt,turmeric powder and coriander powder. Mix and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Now add the mashed toor dal and mix well. Also add 1 cup dal cooked water or normal water.
Simmer the dal until it thickens a bit for around 6-8 minutes. Add garam masala powder and mix well.
Add chopped cilantro leaves and kasuri methi.
Remove from flame lemon juice mix well and serve hot.
I hope you will try this dal fry recipe enjoy as much as we did. P
Restaurant style dal fry recipe,how to make dal fry
Prepartion for dal fry
- 1/2 cup split pigeon peas/toor dal/thuvaram paruppu
- water as required
- pinch salt
Making Dal Fry
- 3 teaspoon oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 slit green chillies
- 2 dried red chillies
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 large tomato finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed ginger OR ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons cilantro leaves chopped
- 1/2 tablespoons kasuri methi
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Preparation of dal fry
- Pick and rinse 1/2 cup toor dal and add to a pressure cooker.
- Add around 2 cups water and a pinch of salt.
- Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Once the pressure is released, mash the dal wile its hot and set aside.
How To Make Dal Fry
- Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds. Next add the slit green chilies, red chilies, ginger and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sliced onions and saute till translucent.
- Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute till cooked and mushy.
- Once tomatoes are well cooked add salt,turmeric powder and coriander powder. Mix and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Now add the mashed toor dal and mix well. Also add 1 cup dal cooked water or normal water.
- Simmer the dal until it thickens a bit for around 6-8 minutes. Add garam masala powder and mix well.
- Add chopped cilantro leaves and kasuri methi.
- Remove from flame lemon juice mix well and serve dal fry hot.
- You can use a combination of 1/2 cup toor dal and 1/2 cup moong dal in this recipe.
- If you have fresh methi leaves you can saute it along with onions and skip kasuri methi.
- Use ghee for enhanced flavor and taste instead of oil.
- If your toor dal doesn't cook well,soak it in water for 30 minutes before cooking.