khati dal

khatti dal recipe with step by step photos. posting yet another delicious dal recipe, this time from the hyderabadi cuisine. this khatti dal is a popular lentil recipe made from split pigeon peas or arhar dal.

the word ‘khatti‘ translates to ‘sour’ in english. so the exact translation of ‘khatti dal‘ will be ‘sour lentils’. although the dal has sour taste but it is delicious and thats why i am posting it on the blog.

the dal is cooked first till the desired consistency and then tempered. the sourness comes from the tamarind. so you have a creamy, smooth, flavorful and sour dal.

by the way, one of my most popular recipe on the blog, is also from hyderabadi cuisine and that is hyderabadi veg biryani. i thought to mention it here so that you can have a look at this tried and tested vegetable biryani recipe 🙂

this khatti dal goes well with basmati rice, jeera rice, chappati or rotis. the dal recipe has been adapted from the cook book – Dastarkhan-E-Moghlai – 101 Easy to Cook Hyderabadi Recipes by Geeta Devi.

an interesting tale when i was on the lookout for this dal recipe. two well known indian chefs have also the same recipe with the same ingredients and almost exact proportions, as the one taken from the above book… and none of them have given credit.

now the book by geeta devi is an original one… that much i know. as some rare recipes are there too. both vegetarian and non vegetarian hyderabadi delicacies are in the book. a must buy if you are a lover of hyderabadi cuisine.

if you are looking for more dal recipes then do check:

hyderabadi khatti dal recipe card below:

hyderabadi khatti dal recipe
5 from 2 votes
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hyderabadi khatti dal recipe

hyderabadi khatti dal recipe - sour lentil soup made from split pigeon pea or arhar dal.
course main course
cuisine hyderabadi, indian
prep time 20 minutes
cook time 20 minutes
total time 40 minutes
servings 2 to 3
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

pressure cooking the dal:

  • 1 cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or split pigeon pea lentils)
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking the lentils
  • 1 medium tomato - chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, finely chopped or grated (adrak)
  • 2 garlic, grated or crushed (lahsun)
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder (haldi)

other ingredients for khatti dal:

  • 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind soaked in ½ cup water for 30 mins
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, chopped or slit - add as required depending on the hotness of the chilies
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • ¾ to 1 cup water to be added later or as required
  • salt as required

for tadka/tempering

  • 3 to 4 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch) - kept whole or broken & deseeded - add as required
  • 6 to 8 garlic, finely chopped (lahsun)
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

how to make recipe?

cooking the lentils/dal:

  1. rinse the dal well. pressure cook the dal with the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and a pinch of turmeric powder, 2.5 cups water for 7-8 whistles or more till the lentils are cooked and mushy.
  2. squeeze the pulp from the tamarind directly into its bowl of water. when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid.
  3. mash the dal with a madani, wooden spoon or hand blender till smooth.
  4. strain the tamarind pulp and add to the dal.
  5. also add the green chilies, turmeric, red chili and coriander powder. stir in the 3/4 or 1 cup water along with salt.
  6. keep the dal on a low flame and simmer for 8-10 minutes till the raw aroma of the tamarind goes away and the all the flavors have blended well and the dal has reached a medium consistency.
  7. cover and keep the cooked dal aside.

making tempering for khatti dal :

  1. heat oil in a small frying pan. crackle the cumin seeds first.
  2. then add the garlic and fry for 4-5 seconds. add the dry red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  3. fry till the red chilies change their color and the curry leaves become crisp.
  4. pour this tempering and stir.
  5. cover and keep aside the khatti dal for 5-6 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
  6. serve khatti dal with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice or roti.

recipe notes

for cooking the lentils in a pot:

  1. rinse and soak the lentils for atleast an hour.
  2. boil 3-4 cups water with a pinch of turmeric. add the drained lentils.
  3. whilst cooking remove the scum with a spoon. cook the lentils till the each lentils has become soft and mushy. add more hot water if required while cooking.
  4. once the lentils are cooked, you can the tomatoes, etc and simmer till the tomatoes are cooked and then proceed with the recipe.


how to make hyderabadi khatti dal recipe:

cooking the lentils/dal:

1. rinse 1 cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or split pigeon lentils) couple of times in water and then drain them well.

khatti dal recipe

2. in a pressure cooker, add the rinsed arhar dal and 1 medium sized chopped tomato.

khatti dal recipe

3. next add ½ inch ginger (adrak) which is grated or finely chopped. also add 2 garlic cloves (lahsun) which are grated or crushed.

khatti dal recipe

4. also add a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi).

khatti dal recipe

5. pour 2.5 cups water.

khatti dal recipe

6. pressure cook the dal for 7-8 whistles or more till the lentils are cooked and mushy.

khatti dal recipe

7. meanwhile soak 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind (imli) in ½ cup water for 30 minutes.

khatti dal recipe

8. then squeeze the pulp from the tamarind directly in the same bowl in which tamarind was soaked.

khatti dal recipe

9. when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid.

khatti dal recipe

10. mash the dal with a madani or wooden spoon or hand blender till smooth.

khatti dal recipe

11. strain the tamarind pulp and add to the dal.

khatti dal recipe

12. stir well.

khatti dal recipe

13. next add 2 to 3 chopped or slit green chilies (hari mirch) and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi).

khatti dal recipe

14. also add ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder) and 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder).

khatti dal recipe

15. mix very well.

khatti dal recipe

16. pour ¾ or 1 cup water.

khatti dal recipe

17. also add salt as required and stir.

khatti dal recipe

18. keep the dal on a low flame and simmer for 8-10 minutes till the raw aroma of the tamarind goes away and the all the flavors have blended well and the dal has reached a medium consistency.

khatti dal recipe

19. cover and keep the cooked dal aside.

khatti dal recipe

preparing tempering for khatti dal:

20. measure and keep all the ingredients ready for making tempering for khatti dal.

khatti dal recipe

21. heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a small frying pan.

khatti dal recipe

22. crackle ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) first.

khatti dal recipe

23. then add 6 to 8 garlic cloves (lahsun) which are finely chopped.

khatti dal recipe

24. fry garlic cloves for 4 to 5 seconds.

khatti dal recipe

25. then add 2 to 3 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch), 12 to 15 curry leaves (kadi patta) and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing).

khatti dal recipe

26. fry till the red chilies change their color and the curry leaves become crisp.

khatti dal recipe

27. pour this tempering over the dal.

khatti dal recipe

28. stir well.

khatti dal recipe

29. cover and keep aside the khatti dal for 5-6 minutes for the flavors to mingle.

khatti dal recipe

30. serve khatti dal with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice or saffron rice or roti.

hyderabadi khatti dal recipe




8 thoughts on “khatti dal recipe, how to make hyderabadi khatti dal recipe”

  1. hi..love this recipe..even tried it once successfully.Here in Mauritius, it’s very common n popular this dhal. However, wanted to try to cook urad dhal,but don’t know how to cook it and don’t have any recipe.I only know urad dhal is used for idli, is it? Please do send me a recipe or suggest any.Thanks a lot.

    1. you want to know about spilt-husked urad dal or whole urad dal. both are cooked differently. for whole urad dal you will have to soak for 6-7 hours. for the spilt-husked you can just cook it directly just like other dals. you can also soak for 30-40 mins if you want. whole urad dal is used in punjabi cuisine to make dal makhani. mah ki dal and dal bukhara. we also make a dal called as mah chole di dal with spilt urad dal.

      here are the recipes
      mah ki dal – https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/maa-ki-dal-kaali-dal/
      mah chole di dal https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/maa-chole-di-dal/
      dal makhani – https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/dal-makhani-punjabi-recipe-of-red-kidney-beans-and-whole-black-lentils/

  2. Dassana,

    You are great. Name an item and it is there on your site. The decoration is also so nice and neat. I love cooking, but here is US it is lot of work. But thanks to you, I am inspired by your dishes and pictures, so sometime, I try and make them. Your name should be changed to “Annapurna” I would like to personally meet with you when I am in India.

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