Dal Fry

Dal Fry is Dal or Lentil based North Indian Curry served with Tandoori Roti, Naan, Kulcha, Chapati or with plain White Rice. Dal or Lentils being rich in Protein, are beneficial in providing the nutrition required for Vegetarians. The dish itself is quite simple; unlike most other Curries, it contains no spicy Masala powders added. It is as simple as preparing the seasoning, then adding Green Chillies, Onions, Tomatoes and cooked Dal to the seasoning. The present recipe utilizes only two types of Dal/Lentils – Toor Dal and Moong Dal. I do add Masoor Dal sometimes and that makes Dal Fry even more tastier in my opinion. Hence, one can add more types of suitable Lentils/Dal depending on one’s taste.

There are many variations of Dal Fry. Khana Khazana has posted a Dal Fry recipe that involves adding Garam Masala and Red Chillies to it. If you provide a seasoning (Tadka) involving Jeera, Red Chilli Powder, Oil to Dal Fry, the preparation is often referred to as Dal Tadka. Rak’s Kitchen has a recipe for Tadka Dal that I liked. If you have not tried some of these variations, do try them out and savor the rich nutritious taste of Dal Fry. For more examples, do refer to Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s Dal recipes – Yellow Dal Fry, Dal Bahar that involves a medley of vegetables and seasonings, the Parsi dish Dhansak Dal, Kali Dal prepared out of Whole Urad Dal(as indicated by its name) and the “royal” Dal Maharani prepared out of Whole Black Gram and Rajma beans which presently ranks among the Top 10 recipes listed by Sanjeev Kapoor.

Dal Fry

Dal Fry


Ingredients for Dal Fry:

  • Toor Dal or Thogari Bele or Pigeon Pea  – 2 cups
  • Moong Dal or Hesaru Bele or Mung Bean – 1/2 cup
  • Big Onions finely chopped – 2
  • Tomatoes chopped – 2
  • Green Chilli + Ginger + Garlic Paste – 1 tea spoon
  • Butter – 1 tea spoon
  • Cumin Seeds / Jeera – 1 tea spoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 pinch
  • Coriander Leaves / Cilantro
  • Salt


Preparation Time : 30 min

How to Make Dal Fry:

  1. Pour water into a vessel and add Toor Dal and Moong Dal to it. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker to cook the dal well.
  2. Take green chilli, ginger and garlic cloves and prepare paste by grinding in a mixer grinder.
  3. Heat a pan, add butter. Upon melting of butter, add jeera and let it crackle. Add chopped onion and fry in the pan until it turns golden brown.
  4. Add garlic + ginger + green chilli paste to the pan and fry it for a min. Add salt, turmeric powder and chopped tomatoes, cook the preparation until tomatoes are cooked and turned to soft.
  5. Add cooked Pigeon Pea Dal or Toor Dal with 1/2 Cup of water. Cook for 5 min on low flame. Stir once to mix everything well. Then Garnish with coriander leaves. Now the Dal Fry is ready to serve.

Serve Dal Fry with roti, chapati or plain rice.

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