Dal Fry (Restaurant Fashion Recipe) » Dassana’s Veg Recipes

Dal fry is a scrumptious lentil recipe in style in India that’s made with tur dal (pigeon pea lentils), onions, tomatoes and spices. Relish this mouthwatering, mildly-spiced, creamy lentil dish with roti, naan or your favourite steamed rice. I share 3 ways of creating dal fry recipe – stovetop strain cooker methodology with stepwise pictures, whereas the pan and Immediate pot methodology with detailed directions.

Dal fry in a copper pan with a brass spoon inside placed on a small brass plate on a white marble board

What’s Dal Fry manufactured from?

In Hindi, ‘dal’ or ‘dahl’ is the generic time period for lentils in addition to the recipes made out of lentils. Dal or lentils are a staple in Indian delicacies and make for a wonderful plant based mostly supply of protein.

Dal Fry is a dish that’s made in varied methods in lots of Indian properties with tur dal or pigeon pea lentils.

If you’re new to Indian delicacies, you could suppose that ‘dal fry’ signifies that some ingredient is being fried or the lentils are fried. Let me guarantee you that we don’t fry something in a dal fry.

Right here is how we make it. First the lentils are cooked till tender and mushy. Notice that we don’t cook dinner al dente lentils.

The tender cooked lentils or dal is then blended with a sautéed combination of spices, onions, tomatoes and herbs. Then simmered for a couple of minutes.

Within the Indian terminology, we regularly use the phrase ‘fry’ for ‘sautéed’ and therefore the time period dal fry. Although technically talking nothing is fried.

About This Recipe

My dal fry recipe presents you plenty of restaurant like flavors and you’ll like it to relish with some roti or rice.

Dal fry is often ready with arhar dal, also called tur, toovar (yellow lentils) or pigeon pea lentils.

I like to make use of an equal mixture of masoor dal (pink or orange lentils) and tuvar dal (pigeon pea lentils), however this recipe is well adaptable with any lentils you could have.

I often cook dinner the lentils in a stove-top strain cooker, however you’ll be able to cook dinner them in a pan or in an Immediate Pot when you should not have a strain cooker available. Particulars given under.

A preferred lentil dish usually served in Indian eating places, Dal Fry shouldn’t be confused with the basic Dal Tadka.

What’s the distinction between Dal Tadka and Dal Fry?

Each these lentil recipes are made with completely different cooking methods. Whereas the substances are roughly the identical, the distinctive cooking strategies implied, makes a distinction to the ultimate flavors and style.

  • In a dal tadka, the tur dal is cooked with aromatics like onions, garlic or ginger, turmeric and tomatoes. After being frivolously mashed, a tadka or tempering combination (fried in ghee or oil) of spices, herbs and seasonings are added to the dal – then blended and served.
  • For a dal fry, the tur dal is just cooked plain or with the addition of turmeric or asafoetida – which is then blended with a sauteed onion-tomato base and additional simmered.

Each of those recipes are well-known within the Dhabas (highways and roadside eateries) in India, although the Dhaba Dal served within the Dhabas has a special style than this recipe.

Elements You Want

I take advantage of substances that are simply obtainable in an Indian kitchen. If you happen to should not have these substances, then purchase them on-line or from an asian or Indian grocery retailer.

  • Veggies: You have to an onion and tomato, each finely chopped for this dal fry recipe.
  • Inexperienced Chilies: Not as scorching as jalapeños however simply the best stage of spice for the dish.
  • Curry Leaves: The delicate taste of curry leaves are important on this recipe. However when you don’t have it, then may nicely as skip it – although some taste profile might be amiss.
  • Asafoetida Powder (hing): If utilizing a powerful asafoetida, then only one pinch is sufficient. I might undoubtedly suggest including a small quantity at a time and seasoning to style. And when you should not have asafoetida, then merely skip it.
  • Coriander leaves (cilantro): This easy herb brings a a lot wanted trace of freshness to the dal fry.
  • Kasuri Methi (dry fenugreek leaves): Brings restaurant model flavors to the dal and provides a nutty aroma. Skip when you should not have it.
  • Further Seasonings: Additionally, you will want a number of Indian pantry staples, together with ginger, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, crimson chili powder, Garam Masala powder, oil, lemon juice, and salt.

Step-by-Step Information

How one can Make Dal Fry

Prepare dinner Lentils 

1. Rinse your lentils in water for three to four instances. I might suggest utilizing ½ cup tur dal (arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils) or ¼ cup every of tuvar dal and masoor dal (pink or orange lentils).

Uncooked yellow and orange lentils for dal fry recipe

2. After rinsing, pour the lentils right into a 2-liter strain cooker and toss in a pinch of turmeric powder and 1.5 cups of water.

Lentils and water in a pressure cooker for dal fry recipe

three. Strain cook dinner the lentils for eight to 9 minutes on medium warmth, or till they’re completely cooked and fully tender. As soon as lentils are cooked, mash them with a spoon or wired whisk, then put aside.

TIP: You possibly can see the consistency of the cooked lentils within the picture under. It is very important observe that there needs to be no separate grains seen.

cooked yellow lentils in a spoon

Sauté Onions, Tomatoes and Spices

four. Warmth 2 to three tablespoons of oil, ghee or unsalted butter in a pan or skillet. As soon as scorching, add ½ or ¾ teaspoon of black mustard seeds.

mustard seeds frying in ghee in a kadai (Indian wok)

5. Whenever you hear the mustard seeds begin crackling, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and fry them with the mustard seeds for a number of seconds or till they modify coloration. It is best to hear the identical crackle for the cumin seeds!

Cumin seeds and oil frying in skillet

6. With the mustard and cumin seeds nonetheless within the pan, add ⅓ cup of chopped onions.

Cumin seeds, chopped onions, and oil frying in skillet

7. Sauté the seeds and onion combination till the onions change into translucent or frivolously browned.

Sautéing onions in a black skillet

eight. When the onions have frivolously browned, add in 1 to 1.5 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste and stir to mix. Sauté the combination for a couple of seconds or till the uncooked aroma of the ginger-garlic goes away on a low warmth.

TIP: Make your personal paste by combining 1 inch ginger with three to four medium-sized garlic cloves, crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle.

ginger-garlic paste added to sautéed onions in a black skillet

9. Lastly, add in 10 to 12 curry leaves, 2 to three dry crimson chilies, and 1 to 2 inexperienced chilies. Stir to mix with the ginger-garlic paste combination.

TIP: You possibly can skip the curry leaves when you don’t have them! I at all times like so as to add curry leaves, as they add such a pleasant taste to the dish.

red chillies, green chillies and curry leaves added to skillet

10. Sauté the combination for 1 minute on a low warmth, stirring to mix the flavors.

sautéing the spices and herbs

11. Add all of the spice powders and blend once more!

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon crimson chili powder or cayenne or smoked paprika (For a lightweight smoky taste)
  • 1 to 2 pinches of asafoetida, or hing (Skip when you should not have it.)
spice powders added to black skillet

12. After mixing completely, add about ⅓ to ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes.

tomatoes added to black skillet

13. Stir collectively another time and proceed to sauté till the tomatoes change into tender and pulpy. The oil also needs to begin to depart the masala combination, which is a sign that the onion-tomato base combination is absolutely cooked.

tomatoes sautéed for dal fry recipe

Make the Dal Fry

14. Add your mashed lentils to sautéed onion-tomato masala combination within the pan or skillet.

added mashed dal to the sautéed tomatoes, onions and spices mixture

15. Mix and blend every little thing evenly with the remainder of the masala combination.

dal mixed evenly to make dal fry recipe

16. Pour 1 to 1.5 cups water. You possibly can modify the consistency of dal fry by including roughly water.

water added to skillet

17. Combine and stir completely to get a clean and even consistency.

water mixed throughly in skillet with other ingredients to make dal fry recipe

18. Season with salt. Combine once more.

salt being added with a measuring spoon into the dal fry

19. Simmer 5 to six minutes on a low to medium warmth. Stir often, in order that the lentils don’t stick on the backside of the pan.

simmering dal fry

20. Add 1 teaspoon of crushed kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) and sprinkle ¼ to ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder.

TIP 1: You possibly can substitute kasoori methi with a pinch of fenugreek seeds powder. If you happen to don’t have both, then simply skip this step.

TIP 2: If you’re utilizing do-it-yourself or a powerful garam masala, then add ¼ teaspoon.

crushed kasuri methi and garam masala added to dal fry

21. Stir and simmer for 1 minute.

simmering dal fry in kadai

22. Change off the warmth and add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. You may as well add ½ to 1 teaspoon lemon juice at this step for just a little added freshness and tang.

coriander leaves added to dal fry

23. Stir only one final time.

dal fry recipe ready to be served

Garnish and Serve

Serve dal fry scorching with paratha, roti, jeera rice or plain steamed basmati rice accompanied with onion-tomato raita, papad, lime/lemon slices or mango pickle or onion salad or kachumber. You may as well garnish with some extra coriander leaves earlier than serving.

Close up photo of dal fry in a copper pan with a brass spoon inside placed on a small brass plate on a white marble board

What to Serve with Dal Fry

  • Roti is a spherical flatbread in style in India, and a staple bread that’s served with lentils or curries. Delicate roti tastes nice with piping scorching dal.
  • Naan, a leavened flatbread made in some international locations in Asia, shouldn’t be as a lot of an Indian family staple as roti, however it’s nonetheless a deliciously tender and barely chewy facet choice.
  • Steamed rice at all times goes nice with dal fry recipes, and you may make it within the strain cooker to avoid wasting cook dinner time.
  • Jeera Rice, which is a straightforward but delish cumin flavored rice is a superb choice to serve with dal fry.


Cooking dal in a pan

  1. First, rinse and soak the lentils for thirty minutes to an hour. Soaking helps the lentils to cook dinner quicker. Later drain all of the water with a sieve or colander.
  2. In a pan take the soaked lentils and a couple of to 2.5 cups water. Add 1 teaspoon of oil. Cowl and cook dinner the lentils on medium-low to medium warmth. If the water froths an excessive amount of, then take away the lid and cook dinner. It might take 30 to 45 minutes for the lentils to melt and change into mushy. Preserve a test and if wanted, add some extra water. 
  3. Then comply with the recipe directions as detailed within the step-by-step information above to make dal fry along with your cooked lentils.

Immediate Pot Dal Fry

Within the Immediate Pot, you merely have to cook dinner every little thing collectively. Although the style of dal fry made within the Immediate Pot is completely different from the one made on the stove-top. Observe the steps under to make prompt pot dal fry.

  1. Frying spices: Press the sauté button of your IP. Let the show present scorching. Add ghee or oil within the metal insert. Add the mustard seeds to the new oil or melted ghee and allow them to crackle first. Then add the cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.
  2. Sautéing aromatics: Subsequent add within the chopped onions and sauté till they soften. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a couple of seconds. Stir within the curry leaves, dry crimson chillies and inexperienced crimson chillies. Once more sauté for a couple of seconds.
  3. Cooking tomatoes and spices: Add chopped tomatoes and sauté them till they soften. Combine within the turmeric powder, crimson chilli powder and asafoetida.
  4. Including lentils: Add the rinsed lentils and 1.5 cups of water. Deglaze eradicating any ingredient bits caught to the underside of the metal insert. Season with salt as wanted.
  5. Strain cooking: Safe the lid of your IP and place the steam launch deal with to sealing. Press the strain cook dinner button setting the time to 15 minutes on excessive strain. It might take 10 to 15 minutes for the lentils to cook dinner relying on their age and high quality. For a dal fry, the lentils should be softened properly.
  6. Ready: Whenever you hear the beep after the strain cooking is finished look forward to 10 minutes after which do a fast strain launch.
  7. Dal consistency: Evenly mash the cooked dal. If you happen to discover that the dal has change into thick, add some scorching water to skinny and lighten it up. If the dal is skinny in your liking, press the sauté button and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  8. Last touches: Lastly add the kasuri methi, garam masala powder and coriander leaves. Combine and swap off your IP. Serve scorching or heat.

Skilled Ideas

  • Consistency: You possibly can alter the consistency of dal by including much less or extra water. If you happen to choose a thinner consistency, then improve the quantity of water a bit and never an excessive amount of. If dal turns into skinny or runny, the flavors will get diluted and it received’t style good. Preserve checking and if wanted, add extra water. 
  • Fat: Dal fry at all times style higher with ghee. However you may make it with oil or butter. Use sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, mustard oil or coconut oil. Notice that mustard oil and coconut oil will give their style and taste within the lentils – so add in keeping with your preferences.
  • Smoky flavors: For extra restaurant model flavors, you’ll be able to smoke the dal utilizing the dhungar methodology, I’ve described in my Dal Makhani recipe. Alternatively, use smoked paprika rather than crimson chilli powder or cayenne to get a faint smoky taste.


What sort of lentils ought to I take advantage of?

You may make dal fry recipe with moong dal (yellow mung lentils), chana dal (bengal gram) and masoor dal (orange lentils), or you’ll be able to go for a mix of those.

How do I make the recipe much less spicy?

For a much less spicy dal fry, add much less chili powder and inexperienced chilies.

Can I make gluten-free dal fry?

To make a gluten-free recipe, merely skip the asafoetida (hing) within the recipe or use a gluten-free asafoetida.

Extra Indian Lentils Recipes!

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Dal fry is a scrumptious lentil recipe in style in India that’s made with tur dal (pigeon pea lentils), onions, tomatoes and spices. I share each the stovetop and Immediate pot methodology to make this dal fry recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 10 minutes

Complete Time 25 minutes

Servings four

For strain cooking lentils

Vitamin Info

Dal Fry Recipe

Quantity Per Serving

Energy 120 Energy from Fats 72

% Every day Worth*

Fats 8g12%

Saturated Fats 1g6%

Sodium 382mg17%

Potassium 203mg6%

Carbohydrates 12gfour%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 3gthree%

Protein 2gfour%

Vitamin A 491IU10%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 29mg145%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 59mg72%

Vitamin E 3mg20%

Vitamin Ok 4µgfour%

Calcium 36mgfour%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 327µg82%

Iron 1mg6%

Magnesium 19mg5%

Phosphorus 43mgfour%

Zinc 1mg7%

* % Every day Values are based mostly on a 2000 calorie weight loss program.

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This dal fry recipe submit from the weblog archives (August 2009) has been republished and up to date on four February 2021.

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