About this recipe:

Dal fry may be a basic Indian dish made by cooking lentils with spices. Dal fry is typically prepared with arhar dal also referred to as tur, toovar or yellow lentils or pigeon pea lentils, moong dal, chana dal, or maybe with mixed lentils.

You can serve the dal fry with rotis, parathas, naan, plain steamed rice, or jeera rice. It is very easy to make lentils, but lentils are very beneficial for the body.

How to make Dal Fry:

Dal Fry is made by soft cooking lentils in a pressure cooker or pot. Then the add whole spices, ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and spice powders are fried in the ghee and then added to the dal.

Step-1: Take 1 cup yellow lentils (arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils). Rinse the lentils in the water a few times.

Step-2: Then add the lentils to a pressure cooker. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and 1.5 cup water.

Step-3: Pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles on medium heat. If you are making lentils in any vessel, then cook the lentils until the lentils are soft. When the pressure of the pressure cooker decreases, open the lid of the cooker and mash the lentils well.

Step-4: Take another pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoon oil or ghee or butter when it becomes hot, add the following:

#: ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)

#: ½ to ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds

#: 1 to 2 broken dried red chili

#: When the spices begin to splutter, add 1/8 teaspoon hing.

Step-5: Add ¼ cup finely chopped onions (1 medium) and 1 to 2 chopped green chilies. Sauté until onions turn golden.

Step-6: Next Add ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger and 2 garlic cloves fine chopped). Cook until ginger and garlic paste cook well. This takes about a minute.

Step-7: Add 10 to 12 curry leaves, 2 to 3 dry red chilies, 1 or 2 green chilies. I have added curry leaves as they provide a really nice flavor. If you don’t have curry leaves, you can skip them.

Step-8: Next Add ½ cup chopped tomatoes (1 large) and ¾ teaspoon salt. Saute until the tomatoes turn mushy and soft.

Step-9: Then add the following spice powders:

#: ¼ teaspoon turmeric

#: ½ teaspoon red chili powder.

#: ¼ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)

Step-10: Saute until the mixture smells good. It takes a minute or two.

Step-11: Add this sautéed onion-tomato masala mixture to mashed lentils or add the mashed dal to the sautéed mixture

Step-12: Mix everything evenly with the rest of the masala mixture.

Step-13: Then pour 1 to 1.5 cups water.

Step-14: When the dal begins to bubble well, take ½ teaspoon kasuri methi in your palms and crush them well. Add it here.

Step-15: Add coriander leaves and switch off. Mix well.

Step-16: Turn off the stove. Add lemon juice as desired just before serving.

Step-17: Serve dal fry hot with paratha, roti, jeera rice, or plain steamed basmati rice.


For Pressure Cooking Lentils:

#: ½ cup tuvar dal (tur dal, arhar dal, pigeon pea lentils) or half-half of tuvar dal and masoor dal

#: 1.5 cups water for pressure cooking

Other Ingredients:

#: 1 medium-sized onion – finely chopped or ⅓ cup finely chopped onions

#: 1 medium-sized tomato – finely chopped or ⅓ cup finely chopped tomatoes

#: 2 green chilies – slit or chopped

#: 2 to 3 dry red chilies – kept whole or halved and deseeded

#: 10 to 12 curry leaves

#: ½ inch ginger + 3 to 4 garlic crushed or made into a paste in a mortar & pestle or 1 to 1.5 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste

#: ½ to ¾ teaspoon black mustard seeds

#: 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

#: 1 to 2 pinches asafoetida powder (hing) – if using a strong asafoetida, then just one pinch is enough

#: ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

#: ½ teaspoon red chili powder

#: 1 teaspoon Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)

#: ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala

#: 2 to 3 tablespoons oil or unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter)

#: ½ to 1 teaspoon lemon juice – optional

#: 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves) for garnish

#: 1 to 1.5 cups water or add as required

#: salt as required.