arhar dal recipe, punjabi tuvar dal recipe, toor dal recipe
Print Recipe
4.38 from 8 votes

arhar dal recipe

tuvar dal recipe - lightly spiced and delicious punjabi arhar dal fry recipe made with pigeon pea lentils or yellow lentils.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: north indian, punjabi
Servings: 3 to 4
Author: Dassana Amit


for pressure cooking arhar dal

  • ½ cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or toor dal or pigeon pea lentils)
  • ½ inch ginger (adrak) - finely chopped or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ¼ cup chopped onions (pyaaz)
  • 1.5 to 1.75 cups water * check notes below on how to cook the lentils in a pot

other ingredients for arhar dal recipe

  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee or oil - for the tempering
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon butter or ghee to be added later - optional
  • 1 medium tej patta (indian bay leaf) - optional
  • 2 cloves (lavang)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 medium size tomato (tamatar) - chopped
  • 1 green chili (hari mirch)
  • 3 to 4 small to medium sized garlic cloves (lahsun) - crushed
  • ¼ cup chopped onions (pyaaz)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch or kashmiri lal mirch powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder - optional
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) - crushed
  • ½ teaspoon amchur powder (dry mango powder) Or ¼ teaspoon lemon juice - optional
  • few chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta) for garnishing
  • salt as required


cooking arhar dal or tuvar dal

  • pick and rinse the lentils very well. add the lentils along with water in the pressure cooker.
  • add finely chopped onion, ginger and turmeric powder.
  • stir and pressure cook for 8 to 9 whistles till the dal has become completely cooked and is of consistency which can be mashed easily.
  • mash the dal with a spoon or wired whisk. keep the cooked dal aside.
  • if the dal appears thick, then add some hot water and keep aside.

making arhar dal recipe

  • heat oil in another pan. add the tej patta, cloves and cumin seeds.
  • first fry the cumin till browned. then add the garlic and saute for 10 to 12 seconds.
  • add the chopped onion and fry till transparent or light brown.
  • add the green chilies and saute for some seconds.
  • add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder and asafoetida.
  • stir and then add the tomatoes. saute till the tomatoes become softened and you see oil leaving the sides of this base onion-tomato masala mixture.
  • lastly add the crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and saute for a few seconds.
  • pour this tempering in the cooked dal.
  • add 1 tbsp butter or ghee (optional) and salt. you can add some water here if required.
  • stir and simmer the arhar dal for 5 to 6 minutes or more till it reaches a slightly thick consistency. you can even keep medium consistency of the dal if you prefer.
  • if you want a slight sour taste in the arhar dal fry, then add a few drops of lemon juice or ½ tsp of amchur powder (dry mango powder) towards the end. if adding dry mango powder, then stir well and allow the arhar dal to simmer for 1 to 2 mins after adding it.
  • garnish with coriander leaves and serve the arhar dal fry hot with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice or naan or rotis accompanied with roasted papad and a pickle or salad by side.


making arhar dal recipe in a pot

  1. rinse and soak the lentils for an hour. drain and add them to a pot.
  2. add 2 cups water, onion, turmeric and ginger.
  3. add a few drops of oil as this reduces the frothing in the lentils.
  4. stir and cover and cook the lentils.
  5. bring to a boil and then simmer till the lentils are cooked really well. if too much water has evaporated, then add some more hot water and continue to cooking.