This restaurant style dal fry is a popular Indian lentil recipe made with pigeon pea lentils, onion, tomatoes and spices.
Course: main course
Author: Dassana Amit
for pressure cooking the dal
½cuptuvar dal(arhar dal, pigeon pea lentils) or half-half of tuvar dal and masoor dal
1.5cupswaterfor pressure cooking the dal
other ingredients for dal fry
1medium sized onion,finely chopped or ⅓ cup finely chopped onions
1medium sized tomato,finely chopped or ⅓ cup finely chopped tomatoes
2green chilies,slit or chopped
2 to 3dry red chilies,kept whole or halved and deseeded
10 to 12curry leaves
½inchginger+ 3 to 4 garlic crushed or made into a paste in a mortar & pestle or 1 to 1.5 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
½ to ¾teaspoonblack mustard seeds
1 to 2pinchesasafoetida powder(hing) - if using a strong asafoetida, then just one pinch is enough
½teaspoonred chili powder
1teaspoonkasuri methi(dry fenugreek leaves)
¼ to ½teaspoongaram masala powder
2 to 3tablespoonsoilor unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter)
½ to 1teaspoonlemon juice,optional
1 to 2tablespoonchopped coriander leaves(cilantro leaves) for garnish
1 to 1.5cupswateror add as required
Take ½ cup tuvar dal (arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils) or half-half of tuvar dal and masoor dal (pink or orange lentils).
rinse the lentils in water for a couple of times.
Then add the lentils in a pressure cooker. Also add a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi) and 1.5 cups water.
Pressure cook the lentils for 8-9 whistles on a medium flame till they are cooked completely.
Once the dal is cooked, then mash the dal lightly with a wired whisk or with a spoon and keep aside.
making dal fry
In another pan heat oil or ghee or unsalted butter. Add the mustard and let them splutter.
When you hear the spluttering sound of the mustard seeds, add the cumin and fry them.
Add the onions and fry till they become transparent or light brown.
Now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for some seconds till their raw aroma disappears.
Add the green chilies, red chilies, curry leaves and stir.
Add all the spice powders - turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida powder. And fry for some seconds.
Add the tomatoes and cook till they soften and you see oil releasing from the sides.
Now add the mashed dal. Stir well. Add water + salt.
Stir and simmer the dal for 4-5 minutes more or till you get a smooth and slightly thick consistency.
Dal fry is not thin and is usually has a medium to thick consistency. So you can adjust the amount of water you want.
Keep the dal medium consistency if you prefer. Making it thin will spoil the taste.
Lastly crush the kasuri methi on the palms of your hands and add them to the dal. Then add garam masala powder. Simmer for a minute. Switch off the fire and add chopped coriander leaves. Add lemon juice if you want, at this stage and stir well.
Now you can garnish it with some more coriander leaves while serving.
While serving top the dal fry with some ghee or butter if required.
Serve dal fry hot with steamed basmati rice, biryani rice, jeera rice or saffron pulao. It also goes well with rotis or naan.