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dal fry, restaurant style dal fry recipe, how to make dal fry recipe

by dassana amit updated January 24, 2014

dal fry

Dal Fry is another popular Indian dal or lentil recipe. Dal Fry is usually prepared with arhar dal also known as tur, toovar or yellow lentils or pigeon pea lentils. You can also use moong dal to make this recipe. Personally, I prefer arhar dal. This Dal Fry recipe tastes more like what is served in restaurants.

Both Dal Fry and Dal Tadka are two popular dal dishes served in Indian restaurants. There is a difference in the preparation of both Dal Fry and Dal Tadka. You can read the difference on this post - Difference between Dal Tadka & Dal Fry

Dal fry is not thin and usually has a medium to thick consistency. You can adjust the amount of water you want when you prepare it.

These two Dal recipes are also famous in the road side dhabas (roadside eateries) of India. But the dals served in the dhaba have a different taste. I had recently posted a dal recipe which is made in the dhaba style. I tried it first time and the results were too good. It almost tasted like the dhaba dal. Here is the link: Dhaba Style Dal. There are many ways of making dals and I will keep on posting the different ways of making them.

Lets Start Step by Step Restaurant Style Dal Fry Recipe: 

1: Boil the tuvar dal with a pinch of turmeric powder in a pressure cooker for a good 5-6 whistles or more till they are cooked completely. Once the dal is cooked, then you mash the dal and keep aside. You can see the doneness of the dal and consistency in the below pic. The lentils are cooked till completely soft. There should be no separate grains visible.

boil the dal

2: In another pan, heat oil or ghee or unsalted butter. Add mustard seeds. Once they pop and start crackling, add cumin seeds and fry them. Then add the onions. Once the onions become transparent or lightly browned, then add ginger-garlic paste. When the raw smell of the ginger-garlic disappears, add curry leaves, red chilies, green chilies. I have used curry leaves as they give a very nice flavor to the dal.

Add all the spice powders – turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida. Fry for some seconds. Now add the tomatoes and fry them till they become soft. When the oil starts to leave the mixture, its an indication that the onion-tomatoes base mixture is cooked. You can also a pinch of garam masala powder to bring in more aroma and spice to the dal.

dal fry mixture

3: Add this fried mixture to the dal or add the mashed dal to the fried mixture.

adding dal to the fried mixture

4. Add some water and salt. stir and let the dal simmer for 3-4 minutes or till you get a smooth and slightly thick consistency.

dal fry

5. Lastly add crushed kasoori methi/dry fenugreek leaves and simmer dal fry for a minute.

garnish the dal fry

6: Garnish Dal Fry with corainder/cilantro leaves. Serve Dal Fry hot with parathas, rotis, jeera rice or plain steamed basmati rice accompanied with onion-tomato raita, papad, lime or mango pickle and onion salad or kachumber.

serve dal fry


If you are looking for more dal recipes then do check dal makhani, masoor dal, moong dal tadka, parsi dal and mah ki dal.

restaurant style dal fry recipe below:

4.8 from 15 reviews
dal fry - restaurant style dal fry recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
dal fry - popular indian dal recipe made with pigeon pea lentils.
Author:
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: indian
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup arhar dal/pigeon pea lentils
  • 2.5 or 3 cups of water for pressure cooking the dal
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, slit or chopped
  • 2-3 dry red chilies, kept whole
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • ½ inch ginger + 3-4 garlic, crushed or made into a paste in a mortar & pestle
  • ½ or ¾ tsp black mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida powder (if using a strong asafoetida, then just one pinch is enough)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp oil or ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 or 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1 cup water or as required
  • salt as required
Instructions
  1. pressure cook 1 cup of the arhar dal with a pinch of turmeric in 2.5 or 3 cups
  2. water. mash the dal lightly with a wire whisk or with a spoon and keep aside.
  3. in another pan heat oil or ghee or unsalted butter. add the mustard and let them splutter.
  4. when you hear the spluttering sound of the mustard seeds, add the cumin and fry them.
  5. add the onions and fry till they become transparent or light brown.
  6. now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for some seconds till their raw aroma disappears.
  7. add the green chilies, red chilies, curry leaves and stir.
  8. add all the spice powders - turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida powder. and fry for some seconds.
  9. add the tomatoes and cook till they soften, for about 2-3 mins.
  10. now add the mashed dal. stir well. add water + salt.
  11. stir and simmer the dal for 3-4 minutes more or till you get a smooth and slightly thick consistency.
  12. dal fry is not thin and is usually has a medium to thick consistency.
  13. you can adjust the amount of water you want.
  14. keep the dal medium consistency if you prefer. making it thin will spoil the taste.
  15. lastly crush the kasuri methi on the palms of your hands and add them to the dal. simmer for a minute. switch off the fire. add lemon juice if you want, at this stage and stir well.
  16. now you can garnish the dal fry with coriander leaves while serving or just add them to the dal and mix well.
  17. while serving top the dal fry with some ghee or butter if required.
  18. serve dal fry hot with steamed basmati rice, biryani rice, jeera rice or saffron pulao. dal fry also goes well with rotis or naan.


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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

SIDIK February 26, 2014 1

SUPPER …………SUPPER……………………….

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Chloe Q February 22, 2014 2

This is the best dhal fry recipe I’ve found! Thanks for sharing :)

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dassana amit February 22, 2014 3

welcome chloe

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Harisankar P S February 9, 2014 4

Thank you for the detailed guide. Prepared the dish and it turned out exactly as shown.

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dassana amit February 9, 2014 5

welcome harisankar

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Rohit February 8, 2014 6

Thank you very much :) Tried and turned out as winner.Easy to cook and great to taste !!!

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dassana amit February 9, 2014 7

welcome rohit

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Amanda February 5, 2014 8

Just tried this recipe tonight. My family loved it. Definitely saving this one! Thanks :)

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dassana amit February 5, 2014 9

welcome amanda

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Mahima February 5, 2014 10

Tried the dal recipe today and it turned out really awesome :) .

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dassana amit February 5, 2014 11

thanks mahima

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yaseen February 2, 2014 12

nice:)

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Anil January 23, 2014 13

Hi!

Tried this recipe 3 times! Just awesome! Tastes better than dhaba dal! Great work! Thank you!!!

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dassana amit January 23, 2014 14

welcome anil and thanks for this positive feedback on dal fry recipe.

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Muskan Ali January 7, 2014 15

hey, this is the first time im making something which is this dal fry… but after making it, i noticed in the picture u used a different pan than mine so… does it make any difference, like in the taste or something?
Loved the recipe though….

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dassana amit January 8, 2014 16

thanks muskan. are you talking about the kadai. yes, there is a slight difference in the taste depending upon the kind of pan and which material the pan is made of.

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noora fiaz December 26, 2013 17

Thanquuuu. …..vry detailed recipe…ive tried…n trnd good…

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dassana amit December 26, 2013 18

welcome noora

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shreya December 3, 2013 19

It’s very fantastic.

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Sreekumar November 28, 2013 20

your recipes are really tastier. great

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Aditi Parihar November 14, 2013 21

Thank you…..love you…love you….meri life ki first dish jo mene bnayi aapki recepie dekhkar….nd I got sooooo many compliments…..

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dassana November 17, 2013 22

welcome aditi. you made my day.

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Mrs,Khan November 13, 2013 23

It was very nice,and was not difficult

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Sheila October 21, 2013 24

Hey Dassana!

I tried your recipe, and it is superb. Highly recommend everyone to try this. I got nothing but compliments for this dish. And thank you for the no-pressure-cooker tips. Thank you!

Regards,
Sheila

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dassana October 21, 2013 25

welcome sheila

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mansi shelar October 14, 2013 26

oswem.very nice.very testy.

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Amit October 12, 2013 27

I tried cooking first time and it was awesome experience with this recipe. thanks a lot.

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dassana October 12, 2013 28

welcome amit

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sanjivani September 25, 2013 29

for preparation ghee is use this is of which brand .because the restaurant the smell is different. so kindly say the brand of restaurants using ghee.

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dassana September 26, 2013 30

the aroma in restaurants is the charcoal flavor. you can use any brand of ghee.

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Steve Young September 6, 2013 31

No pressure cooker, but we soaked overnight and cooked till tender in a open pot.

Mashing and such just does not get the same look as in your pictures. We put it in a blender for a little bit but not to long. (when cool, not when hot)

It still is a bit chunky, ideas on what we can do to get it right?

Four stars because of us not you… :)

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dassana September 6, 2013 32

to get the mashable consistency, the lentils have to be cooked more. the recipe is not chunky at all. actually it also depends on the pigeon pea lentils one gets abroad. what i have heard, is that some of them are really tough to cook and take a lot of time. i would suggest to buy a good quality from a reliable brand. organic brands are much better.

if you still have the blended lentils, gather all of it in a pan. add hot water and simmer on a low to medium flame with frequent stirs in a pot. cooking the soaked lentils in a pot should take approx 45 mins to 1 hour or more depending on the quality of the lentils. i would also suggest to make the same dal fry recipe with mung lentils as they are faster to cook as compared with pigeon pea lentils.

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Sheila August 6, 2013 33

Hi! Excellent recipe, been combing the net for one I really liked and wanted!

Question, do you know how to cook the dal without a pressure cooker? I’ve developed a lifelong phobia of that device, and I can’t use it. Thank you!

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dassana August 7, 2013 34

just soak the dal for an hour or two. then drain and keep aside. in a pot, add water and turmeric powder. when the water comes to a boil, add the dal and cook in an open pan. the scum which is formed when cooking, can be just removed with a spoon. simmer till the dal is cooked and soft. for about 1 cup of dal, you can use 3-4 cups water. tuvar dal is the toughest to cook in a pot. the other dals cook pretty fast. depending on the quality of the tuvar dal, it should take about 40 minutes to an hour to cook.

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Magnus July 23, 2013 35

Hello Dassana,

I am so happy that I found your site. In 1981 I was in Jaipur for a couple of weeks. I lived in a sleeping hall with some ten other men in a cheap lodge near the railway station. Every morning, I had dal fry and chapatis at a very simple street-side restaurant nearby. That dal fry has haunted me ever since, and I have tried to cook it many times without success. I have even tried to find it at restaurants in south India at later visits to your country – to no avail. But now, thanks to your fantastic recipe, I have today had a meal that comes very close to how I remember the dal fry in Jaipur.

Thank you so much for this recipe. I will browse your other ones as well.

Best wishes from Stockholm, Sweden,

Magnus

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dassana July 24, 2013 36

Hello Magnus

Thanks for this sweet comment.
I am glad, finally you found the dal fry recipe you were looking for.
You are can try other indian recipes as well.

Thanks
Dassana

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Magnus July 25, 2013 37

Hello again, Dassana,

Yesterday I made your aloo palak. I couldn’t get any fresh spinach, so I used some fresh mangold instead. What a lovely recipe. Today, I am making dal fry again, plus aloo matar.

Your blog is a gold-mine of vegetarian recipes for me!

Best,

Magnus

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dassana July 26, 2013 38

thanks magnus for these awesome words.

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papia July 14, 2013 39

Daal fry its a very easy and nice recipe
Easy to coook and its take very less tym

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dassana July 14, 2013 40

thanks papia

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jyoti July 3, 2013 41

another wonderful recipe dassana! tried it today & it was a big hit in my house! i consider dal as comfort food & ur recipes just do that…give me pleasure in eating! just a request….can u post Bread Upma recipe for me please….

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dassana July 3, 2013 42

thanks jyoti. i will post bread upma recipe in some time.

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