dal fry dhaba style recipe, dhaba dal recipe
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4.53 from 17 votes

dhaba dal

punjabi dhaba style dal fry recipe made with 5 lentils.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: north indian, punjabi
Servings: 3 to 4
Author: Dassana Amit


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 dhaba dal

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


cooking dal (lentils)

  • pick and rinse the lentils a couple of times. if you want you can also soak the lentils in water for an hour.
  • add the lentils in a pressure cooker along with a pinch of turmeric powder. also add 2 cups water.
  • 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.
  • lightly mash and keep aside.

making dhaba style dal fry

  • in a kadai or pan, heat 1.5 tablespoon oil or ghee.
  • add all the whole spices and saute them till they crackle and become fragrant.
  • then add the chopped onions.
  • stir often and saute till the onions turn light golden.
  • 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.
  • add crushed kasuri methi and stir.
  • now add the chopped tomatoes. stir and saute till the tomatoes soften.
  • 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.
  • mix the spice powders with the rest of the onion-tomato masala.
  • add the cooked dal and mix well.
  • add water and stir very well.
  • season with salt and mix again.
  • simmer the dhaba dal on a low flame till the dal thickens a bit. 
  • keep on stirring the dal fry at intervals so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • when the dal fry is done, switch off the flame. add chopped coriander leaves. reserve some coriander leaves for garnishing.
  • 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.


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