authentic gujarati dal (vegan & no onion no garlic)

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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.

gujarati dal recipe, gujarati dal

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 🙂

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

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gujarati dal recipe

Gujarati Dal

4.86 from 14 votes
Gujarati dal is a mildly sweet and tangy thin tempered dal made with pigeon pea lentils.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Cuisine Gujarati
Course: Main Course

Servings 4 to 5
Units

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

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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31 Comments

  1. I used tamarind instead of kokum but the taste was authentic, just like how I remember from Gujarati-style thaali restaurants. Instructions are spot on! Good job!5 stars

    1. Thanks for the review and the rating. Yes, tamarind also works well in the recipe. Glad that the instructions were helpful.

  2. 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 !!

  3. 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

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

    1. 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 🙂

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

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