dal fry dhaba style recipe | dhaba dal recipe | dhaba style dal fry recipe

4.31 from 13 votes

dal fry dhaba style recipe - punjabi dhaba style dal recipe inspired from the dhabas.

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dhaba style dal fry recipe with step by step photos – we love the dal they serve at dhabas. dhabas are hotels or restaurants alongside roads and highways. more about dhaba on this wiki link. 

dhaba style dal fry recipe

this recipe of dal fry is inspired from the dals served at punjabi dhabas. but i have made the dal more healthy by using 5 different dals or lentils. in the dhaba, they use chana dal, arhar dal and urad dal. i have also added moong dal and masoor dal. the dal fry also uses less oil as compared to the dhaba ones.

at times, i also give dhungar to this dal. if you want to give dhungar to this dhaba dal then you can check the method in this restaurant style dal tadka recipe. if you like dal fry, then you can also check this dal fry restaurant style recipe

its best to serve this dhaba dal with tandoori rotis. though even with plain steamed rice, jeera rice, peas pulao it goes well. you can also serve the dal with naan, parathas or phulkas.

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

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dal fry dhaba style recipe, dhaba dal recipe
4.31 from 13 votes
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dal fry dhaba style recipe | dhaba dal recipe

dal fry dhaba style recipe - punjabi dhaba style dal recipe inspired from the dhabas.

course main course
cuisine north indian, punjabi
prep time 25 minutes
cook time 20 minutes
total time 45 minutes
servings 3 to 4
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for cooking dal (lentils):

  • 2 tablespoons chana dal husked & split bengal gram
  • 2 tablespoons tuvar dal husked & split pigeon pea lentils
  • 2 tablespoons urad dal split urad dal with their husks (chilkewali urad dal)
  • 2 tablespoons moong dal split mung lentils with husks (chilkewali moong dal)
  • 2 tablespoons masoor dal (pink lentils)
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 2 cups water for pressure cooking

other ingredients for dhaba dal fry:

  • 1.5 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 55 grams onion or 1 medium onion or ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 4 grams ginger or ½ inch ginger or 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 4 grams garlic or 6 to 7 small garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 2 to 3 green chilies slit
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed
  • 115 grams tomatoes or 1 large tomato, chopped or ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • ½ to ⅔ cup water or add as required
  • salt as required
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

whole spices for dal fry:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ inch cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 tej patta or indian bay leaf

how to make recipe

cooking dal (lentils):

  1. pick and rinse the lentils a couple of times. if you want you can also soak the lentils in water for an hour.

  2. add the lentils in a pressure cooker along with a pinch of turmeric powder. also add 2 cups water.

  3. pressure cook for 18 to 20 minutes on a low to medium flame.

  4. when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the dals.

  5. the lentils should be cooked very well and softened.

  6. lightly mash and keep aside.

making dhaba style dal fry:

  1. in a kadai or pan, heat 1.5 tablespoon oil or ghee.

  2. add all the whole spices and saute them till they crackle and become fragrant.

  3. then add the chopped onions.

  4. stir often and saute till the onions turn light golden.

  5. then add 1 tsp crushed ginger, 1 tsp crushed garlic, 2 to 3 slit green chilies and 2 to 3 dry red chilies. mix well and saute till the raw aroma of ginger & garlic goes away.

  6. add crushed kasuri methi and stir.

  7. now add the chopped tomatoes. stir and saute till the tomatoes soften.

  8. then add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder and a pinch of asafoetida.

  9. mix the spice powders with the rest of the onion-tomato masala.

  10. add the cooked dal and mix well.

  11. add water and stir very well.

  12. season with salt and mix again.

  13. simmer the dhaba dal on a low flame till the dal thickens a bit. 

  14. keep on stirring the dal fry at intervals so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

  15. when the dal fry is done, switch off the flame. add chopped coriander leaves. reserve some coriander leaves for garnishing.

  16. garnish with some coriander leaves and serve the dhaba style dal hot with rotis or parathas. you can also do the dhungar method if you want and then serve the dal fry.

recipe notes

overall you can also add ½ cup mixed lentils or 180 grams mixed lentils. 

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how to make dhaba style dal fry recipe:

a) cooking lentils:

1. pick and rinse the lentils a couple of times. if you want you can also soak the lentils in water for an hour.

dals for dhaba style dal fry recipe

2. add the lentils in a pressure cooker along with a pinch of turmeric powder.

dals for dhaba style dal fry recipe

3. also add 2 cups water.

water for dhaba style dal fry recipe

4. pressure cook for 18 to 20 minutes on a low to medium flame. when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the dals. the lentils should be cooked very well and softened. depending on the quality of lentils, they may take less or more time to cook. lightly mash the dal and keep aside. if you soak the lentils, then it will take less time to pressure cook. the lentils can also be cooked in a pot. just add 2 to 2.5 cups water and cook them covered in a deep and thick bottomed pot or pan. though cooking in a pot and pan will take more time.

making dhaba style dal fry recipe

b) preparing dal fry:
1. in a kadai or thick bottomed pan, heat 1.5 tablespoon oil or ghee. add all the whole spices and saute them till they crackle and become fragrant.

making dhaba style dal fry recipe

2. then add the chopped onions.

onions for dhaba style dal fry recipe

3. on a low to medium flame, stir often and saute till the onions turn light golden.

onions for dhaba style dal fry recipe

4. then add 1 teaspoon crushed ginger, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 2 to 3 slit green chilies & 2 to 3 dry red chilies.

preparing dhaba style dal fry recipe

5. mix well and saute till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.

preparing dhaba style dal fry recipe

6. add 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (crushed) and stir.

onions for dhaba style dal fry recipe

7. now add the chopped tomatoes.

tomatoes for dhaba style dal fry recipe

8. mix well and begin to saute the tomatoes on a low to medium flame.

tomatoes for dhaba style dal fry recipe

9. stir and saute till the tomatoes soften.

tomatoes for dhaba style dal fry recipe

10. then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chilli powder, ½ teaspoon coriander powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder and a pinch of asafoetida.

spices for dhaba style dal fry recipe

11. mix the spice powders with the rest of the onion-tomato masala.

tomatoes for dhaba style dal fry recipe

12. add the cooked dal.

making dal fry recipe dhaba style

13. mix well.

making dal fry recipe dhaba style

14. add ½ to ⅔ cup water or as required. for a thicker consistency add less water.

making dal fry recipe dhaba style

15. stir and mix very well.

making dal fry recipe dhaba style

15. season with salt and mix again.

salt for dal fry recipe dhaba style

16. simmer the dal fry on a low flame for about 6 to 7 minutes or till the dal thickens a bit. keep on stirring the dal at intervals so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

making dal fry recipe dhaba style

17. when the dhaba style dal fry is done, switch off the flame. add about 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves. reserve the remaining 1 tablespoon coriander leaves for garnish.

making dal fry recipe dhaba style

18. garnish with some coriander leaves and serve the dal fry hot with rotis or parathas. you can also do the dhungar method if you want and then serve the dal fry. i have shared the dhungar method photos in this restaurant style palak paneer recipe steps and also in this dal makhani recipe.

dhaba style dal fry recipe

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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  1. Hello, I would like to make this recipe tomorrow but don’t have time to go out to the Indian grocery before then. I have all the dals except the split Mung dal. I have whole Mung dal and split Mung dal without the skins. Will either of those work instead?

    • erin, you can use split mung dal without the skin. do not use the whole mung dal.

  2. Thanks Dassana we tried this today and came out really good! Loved it!

    • Welcome Nandakumar. Glad to know this.

  3. I cant thank you enough for this wonderful receipe. I went to store and bought Mixed lentils just for this receipe and followed your receipt exactly on dot including measurement and it turned out a super hit dish with my husband. kids are too young to appreciate spicy dishes 🙂 i made it thinking it will be enough for dinner and next day lunch box but it got completed by dinner itself and little to pack for lunch box and I am not complaining though !! my husband wants me to make it again twice in a week !!! Amazing job of maintaining this wonderful receipe..keep up the great work !!

    • Thanks LAGirl for this awesome feedback. Glad to know that everyone liked the dish.