hyderabadi khatti dal recipe
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5 from 1 vote

khatti dal

hyderabadi khatti dal recipe - sour lentil dal made from split pigeon pea or arhar dal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: hyderabadi, indian
Servings: 2 to 3
Author: Dassana Amit


pressure cooking the dal

  • 1 cup arhar dal (tuvar dal or split pigeon pea lentils)
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking the lentils
  • 1 medium tomato - chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, finely chopped or grated (adrak)
  • 2 garlic, grated or crushed (lahsun)
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder (haldi)

other ingredients for khatti dal

  • 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind soaked in ½ cup water for 30 mins
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, chopped or slit - add as required depending on the hotness of the chilies
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • ¾ to 1 cup water to be added later or as required
  • salt as required

for tempering khatti dal

  • 3 to 4 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch) - kept whole or broken & deseeded - add as required
  • 6 to 8 garlic, finely chopped (lahsun)
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)


cooking the dal

  • rinse the dal well. pressure cook the dal with the tomatoes, garlic, ginger and a pinch of turmeric powder, 2.5 cups water for 7-8 whistles or more till the lentils are cooked and mushy.
  • squeeze the pulp from the tamarind directly into its bowl of water. when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid.
  • mash the dal with a madani, wooden spoon or hand blender till smooth.
  • strain the tamarind pulp and add to the dal.
  • also add the green chilies, turmeric, red chili and coriander powder. stir in the 3/4 or 1 cup water along with salt.
  • keep the dal on a low flame and simmer for 8-10 minutes till the raw aroma of the tamarind goes away and the all the flavors have blended well and the dal has reached a medium consistency.
  • cover and keep the cooked dal aside.

making tempering for khatti dal

  • heat oil in a small frying pan. crackle the cumin seeds first.
  • then add the garlic and fry for 4-5 seconds. add the dry red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  • fry till the red chilies change their color and the curry leaves become crisp.
  • pour this tempering and stir.
  • cover and keep aside the khatti dal for 5-6 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
  • serve khatti dal with steamed basmati rice or jeera rice or roti.


for cooking the lentils in a pot:
  1. rinse and soak the lentils for atleast an hour.
  2. boil 3-4 cups water with a pinch of turmeric. add the drained lentils.
  3. whilst cooking remove the scum with a spoon. cook the lentils till the each lentils has become soft and mushy. add more hot water if required while cooking.
  4. once the lentils are cooked, you can the tomatoes, etc and simmer till the tomatoes are cooked and then proceed with the recipe.