khatti dal recipe, how to make hyderabadi khatti dal recipe

by dassana amit updated January 17, 2014

khatti dal

khatti dal – posting yet another dal recipe… this time from 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 (India | US) .

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.

hyderabadi khatti dal recipe

if you are looking for more dal recipes then do check dal fry, dal makhani, palak dal, whole masoor dal and dal pakwan.

hyderabadi khatti dal recipe below:

5.0 from 1 reviews

khatti dal – hyderabadi khatti dal recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
hyderabadi khatti dal – sour lentil soup made from split pigeon pea or arhar dal.
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: hyderabadi, indian
Serves: 2-3
pressure cooking the dal:
  • 1 cup arhar dal or split pigeon pea lentils
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking the lentils
  • 1 medium tomato
  • ½ inch ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 garlic, grated or crushed
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
other ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp seedless tamarind soaked in ½ cup water for 30 mins
  • 2-3 green chilies, chopped or slit – add as required depending on the hotness of the chilies
  • 1 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • ½ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • ¾ to 1 cup later to be added later or as required
  • salt as required
for tadka/tempering
  • 3 to 4 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 2-3 dry red chilies, kept whole or broken & deseeded – add as required
  • 6-8 garlic, finely chopped
  • 12-15 curry leaves/kadi patta
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
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 ¾ 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.
preparing the tempering:
  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.
for cooking the lentils in a pot – rinse and soak the lentils for atleast an hour. boil 3-4 cups water with a pinch of turmeric. add the drained lentils. 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. once the lentils are cooked, you can the tomatoes, etc and simmer till the tomatoes are cooked and then proceed with the recipe.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Gavnisha November 29, 2013 1 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.


dassana December 1, 2013 2

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 –
mah chole di dal
dal makhani –


Aisha October 28, 2013 3

Amazing effort.The pictures are so tempting, i wish i could penetrate the screen


Neelima October 2, 2013 4


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.


dassana October 3, 2013 5

thanks neelima for your kind words. i am humbled and touched. do let me know when you come to india.


Divya Jany August 22, 2013 6

Yummy and easy to make recipe…


Familycook August 22, 2013 7

This does look lip-smacking good!


Vimitha August 22, 2013 8

Love it a lot. Comfort food