Dal Fry is a flavoursome Indian lentil recipe made with toor dal (yellow split pigeon peas), moong dal (split de-husked green gram), onion, tomato & seasoned with few aromatic spices. Instead of moong dal you can also use ‘Masoor Dal’ (red or orange lentils).
Dal is known as lentil in english & is an essential source of protein in vegan or vegetarian diet. The dal fry recipe shared here is easy, quick to make & makes for a comforting, delicious meal any day.
The Dal fry or yellow lentils recipe shared here is :
- High Protein
- Great option for everyday meals
After dal makhani, dal fry is second popular recipe of lentils in India. You will find it in almost all restaurant menus & hence it is often referred to as Dhaba Style or Restaurant style Dal Fry or Dal tadka. It is a medium spicy lentil curry recipe with lots of vibrant flavours & aromatic Indian spices.
Lentils used in making Dal fry:
In this dahl fry recipe, the main lentil is going to be toor dal also known by tuwar dal, arhar dal or yellow split pigeon peas. The second lentil in this recipe is moong dal (split de-husked green gram), added in lesser quantity & gives the lentil a creamy consistency and adds some depth of flavours. If you don’t have moong dal you can use lal masoor dal (orange lentils).
I have made this yellow dal fry in pressure cooker on stove top but it can be made in Instant Pot too.
It can be served with hot phulkas, chapatis, naan or steamed basmati rice with salad on sides. If you want to make completely gluten free meal then you can serve it with ragi roti made using ragi or finger millet flour.
Can I make this dal without onion & garlic?
Yes you can easily make this dal without onion & garlic (Jain version of Dal fry). For those who are unaware, many people from Jain community refrain from eating onion & garlic. My mom always makes this dal without onion & garlic & it still tastes yummy.
More dal or lentil recipes:
- Dal Palak (Spinach Lentil)
- Panchmel Dal (Five Lentils Curry)
- Dal Makhani
- Instant Moong Dal Idli
- Mixed Dal Dosa
All the ingredients, substitutions & stepwise recipe is shared below. In case of any doubt please feel free to drop in comments. Hope you would like this easy dal fry recipe.
Ingredients: (Serves 3 to 4)
- Arhar Dal (Yellow split pigeon peas)-1/2 cup
- Moong Dal (Small Yellow lentil)-1/4 cup
- Water- 2 & 1/2 cups
- Turmeric Powder-1 tsp
- Salt-1 tsp (or to taste)
- Ghee / Oil- 2 tbsp
- Asafoetida (Heeng) – A pinch (optional)
- Cumin Seeds (Jeera)- 1 tsp
- Garlic- 4 to 5 cloves
- Ginger Paste- 1 tsp
- Chopped Green Chillies-1
- Chopped Medium Sized Onion-1
- Chopped Medium Sized Tomato-1
- Red Chilli Powder-3/4 tsp
- Dried Whole Red Chilli-1
- Lemon Juice-2 tsp
- Chopped Fresh Coriander leaves (or Parsley)-2 to 3 tbsp
For tempering: (optional)
- Ghee / Oil-1 tbsp
- Cumin seeds (Jeera)-1 tsp
- Red Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
1. If you don’t have lemon juice you can add 1/2 tsp of amchoor (raw mango powder).
2. Instead of fresh tomatoes, you can add 2 tbsp of tomato puree. It gives a similar tang & colour to the dal.
3. Both fresh green chilli & red chilli powder has been used in the recipe. If you like less spicy food, feel free to skip either of them. You can also use black pepper.
4. Instead of preparing tempering (for top), you can even use some chilli-garlic oil.
Take both dal in a mixing bowl & wash thoroughly to get rid of dust. Soak them in water for 20-30 minutes. The grains would swell up a bit. Soaking makes lentils easily digestible & also reduces the cooking time.
Discard the water in which dal was soaked. Transfer these soaked dal in pressure cooker & add 2 cups of water, salt & turmeric powder to it. After 1 whistle, slow down the flame for 3 minutes. Switch off the flame and let the pressure get released on its own. The cooking time can vary slightly depending on the quality of lentils & water used.
By the time pressure is releasing from the cooker, lets prepare the tadka for the dal. Heat ghee in a pan. Add jeera (cumin), heeng (asafoetida), ginger paste, chopped garlic and chopped green chillies. Sauté for 30-40 seconds.
Add chopped onions to the above pan & sauté them till they turn slightly translucent.
Add chopped tomatoes & red chilli powder. Let them cook on low flame for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan & bring it to boil.
Open the pressure cooker as the steam would be released by now. Add boiled dal to the above pan. Mix well. Cook it in the open pan on low flame for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir it in between.
Delicious Dal Fry is ready !! After switching off the flame add lemon juice & chopped coriander leaves.
Before serving you can add, ghee tempering (or tadka) which is totally optional. For this, heat ghee in a small pan, add cumin seeds & red chilli powder to it. Let it sauté for 20-30 seconds & then pour it over dal. This tempering adds lovely rustic aroma to the dal.
Serve Dal Fry with hot phulka, chapati or steamed rice 🙂 .
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