authentic gujarati dal (vegan & no onion no garlic)

Gujarati dal recipe with step by step photos – easy to make, mildly sweet and sour Gujarati dal recipe. No onion no garlic and a vegan dish.

Dal is a staple at home. So I often try various dal recipes. This Gujarati dal is one of those dal recipes that I make many times. Give us a bowl of hot steaming dal with some steamed rice and we don’t need anything else 🙂

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gujarati dal recipe, gujarati dal

Like most dal recipes, This Gujarati dal is also easy. the consistency of this dal is thin and has mild sweet & sour taste.

Sweetness comes from jaggery and sourness comes from kokums (garcinia indica). Kokums are not easily available everywhere, so I suggest to add lime juice or tamarind pulp in the dal.

Both the sweetness and sourness can be adjusted as per your taste. This recipe does not have peanuts. Sometimes I add them and sometimes I don’t. With or without peanuts, the dal always tastes good. Few more Gujarati dal recipes on the blog are:

This Gujarati dal is best served with steamed rice. Accompany a vegetable dish or salad by the side.

How to make Gujarati dal

Cooking lentils

1. Take ¾ cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils). First pick the arhar dal for stones etc. Then rinse the lentils thoroughly in running water for 4-5 times.

rinse arhar dal

2. add the rinsed dal in a pressure cooker.

add dal in pressure cooker

3. Add 2 to 2.5 cups water.

add water to dal

4. Pressure cook for 7 to 8 minutes on a medium to high flame.

cooking the dal

5. The lentils have to be cooked completely.

cooked dal

6. Mash the dal very well with a wired whisk or with a spoon.

mashing the dal

7. The lentils should be mashed very well.

mashed dal for Gujarati dal

8. Add green chili-ginger paste, ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp cumin powder, 1.5 to 2 tbsp jaggery, salt as required, 3 to 4 dried kokums and 1 small sized chopped tomatoes (optional).

add spices to make Gujarati dal recipe

9. Stir.

stir the dal

10. Add 1.5 to 2 cups water.

add water to make Gujarati dal

11. Stir again and keep the dal back on the stovetop.

cooking Gujarati dal

12. bring the dal to a simmer on a low flame for 7 to 8 minutes.

simmer the Gujarati dal recipe

Tempering for Gujarati dal

13. For the tempering, heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee in a small pan. Crackle ½ tsp mustard seeds first and then add ½ tsp cumin.

tempering for Gujarati dal recipe

14. Add 2 to 3 small dry red chilies, 3 to 4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 8 to 10 curry leaves, a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) and ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds. Stir and fry for some seconds till the red chilies change color.

tempering for Gujarati dal recipe

15. Pour this tempering on the simmering dal.

add tempering to Gujarati dal

16. Switch off the flame.

making Gujarati dal

17. Add 1 tbsp coriander leaves.

add coriander leaves to Gujarati dal

18. Stir finally.

stir Gujarati dal recipe

Serve Gujarati dal with steamed rice.

Gujarati dal recipe, Gujarati dal
More dal recipes

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Gujarati Dal

4.85 from 13 votes
Gujarati dal is a mildly sweet and tangy thin tempered dal made with pigeon pea lentils.
gujarati dal recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:40 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:Gujarati
Servings (change the number to scale):4 to 5
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

Ingredients

for pressure cooking lentils

  • ¾ cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentils)
  • 2 to 2.5 cups water

other ingredients

  • 1 small tomato chopped (optional)
  • 1 or 2 green chilies + ½ inch ginger - crushed in a mortar pestle to a paste or about 1 teaspoon ginger green chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 3 to 4 dried kokums * check notes
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water or add as required
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoon organic powdered jaggery powder or grated jaggery or add as required
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
  • salt as required

for tempering

  • 2 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon sabut methi (fenugreek seeds)
  • 2 to 3 small dry red chilies or 2 regular to large dry red chili - halved and deseeded or kept whole
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon

Instructions

pressure cooking lentils

  • First pick the arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils for stones etc. 
  • Then rinse the lentils thoroughly in running water for 4-5 times.
  • Add the rinsed dal in a pressure cooker. Add water. Pressure cook for 7 to 8 minutes on a medium to high flame.
  • The lentils have to be cooked completely. 
  • Mash the dal very well with a wired whisk or with a spoon. The lentils should be mashed very well.

making gujarati dal

  • Add green chili-ginger paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander-cumin powder, jaggery, salt, tomato(optional) and kokums. Stir.
  • Add water. Stir again and keep the dal back on the stove top.
  • Bring the dal to a simmer on a low flame for 7 to 8 minutes.

for tempering gujarati dal

  • Heat oil or ghee in a small pan. Crackle mustard seeds first and then add cumin.
  • Add the dry red chilies, cloves, cinnamon, curry leaves, asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. 
  • Stir and fry for some seconds till the red chilies change color.
  • Pour this tempering on the simmering dal. Switch off the flame.
  • Add coriander leaves. Finally stir the dal.
  • Serve gujarati dal with steamed rice.

Notes

In the absence of kokum, you can add about 1 tbsp lemon juice or as required in the dal. Add the lemon juice towards the end once the dal is done and then give a stir.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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29 comments/reviews

  1. AMAZING… I loved loved loved this recipe. I tried this multiple times. And even for guests. And it was absolute hit. No matter how much I make it. I never have anything leftover !!

  2. I have made this thrice now
    Accidentally added extra jaggery today, but it is still yummy
    Thank you.
    Your recipes have helped me a lot as I am a total newbie to cooking.
    ❤️❤️❤️5 stars

    • great and thank you bhanisha. i am glad that the recipes are helping you to cook good food.
      most welcome and happy cooking.

  3. you forgot one thing is jaggery5 stars

    • jaggery is added in the recipe. its also there in the photos as well as in the ingredient list and stepwise instructions. i have also mentioned about jaggery in the main content of the post.

  4. I’ve been using your recipes for quite some time now, and I realised that not only does my food taste better, but also I have fallen in love with cooking again. Thanks for the clear, detailed instructions and the step by step photos : they really help a lot!
    Looking forward to many more recipes from you 🙂

    • welcome girija. nice to know this. thanks for sharing this encouraging feedback on recipes.

  5. Dear Dassana,
    Love all your recipes and the way you detail them. Made this dal today. It is very easy to prepare and tastes really good… Thank you so much!!! All loved at home 🙂 You are doing an awesome job!

  6. Nice recipe. Keep posting like this5 stars

    • thanks anuj

  7. Love this recipe !

  8. Oh, can you please do some more kids lunch box recipes? With 2 school going 5 year olds, its always a challenge to think up something that tastes good, looks pretty, is healthy, doesn’t get soggy/dry by meal time..the list is never ending!

    • NM, have a look at this tiffin recipes category – https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/recipes/tiffin-recipes/

  9. Hi, I have been a regular reader of your blog for quite a while, though haven’t commented till date. Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog 🙂 The look & feel of it is very serene, I don’t know if that makes sense, but your blog feels very calm and homely and it has become a go to for me since I love cooking and always look for ways and means to tweak daily dishes. I especially love your step by step pics..love your patience in taking those. Its very relaxing to read through as well. Thanks for doing a great job, please take care & god bless!5 stars

    • Thanks NM for your kind words. a lot of thought has gone into design of the website to give it a serene look. we make sure that the person who is reading the recipes feels at ease while reading. so we had tried our best to select best font, colors, layout and avoid distractions like pop ups. good to know that all this work we have done makes a difference in reading. because we hardly get any comment on design format and layout. so it feels good to know that all these things do make a difference.

      • I second you, NM. The website design is indeed very soothing and the navigation is extremely simply too. I absolutely love ur recipes and your recipes are the most trusted ones for me, after my mom’s ☺️☺️

        Thanks for all the efforts and for making cooking such a delight 🙂5 stars

        • thanks rashika for this lovely feedback on the design as well as the recipes. happy cooking 🙂

  10. The best website on the world in Food. thanks for vegerecipesof india

    • thanks a lot vineet for these encouraging words.

  11. I love your website! I often use your recipes to try new dishes, tried making this dal today, followed the instructions step by step, and it turned out wonderful and so aromatic! Thank you so much for the great recipes 🙂5 stars

    • welcome manika. glad to know this.

  12. great blog nice work i would like to get latest recipe on my email.

    • thanks abid. we no longer send recipes in email via weekly newsletter. please follow us on facebook, twitter or pinterest to get updates about new recipes posted.

  13. HELLO MAM,
    IN THIS DAL YOU ALSO ADD TOMATOES?

    • suvidha, addition of tomato is optional. i had forgotten to mention it in the post. but tomatoes are visible in step 8 photo and also in the final photo. i appreciate your sharpness.

      • Thanku mam…
        I am a big fan of ur recepies..each n every day i read your blog n trying to make such a delisious recepies every day…. all becoz of ur food blog…

        • welcome suvidha. glad to know this.

  14. Pretty good recipe! loved the variation of spices and ginger chilly paste !4 stars

    • thanks aparna