Dal Fry - A Moderately Spiced North Indian Dal

Dal Fry – A Moderately Spiced North Indian Dal

Dal fry is a moderately spiced North Indian dal.


  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1/4 cup masoor dal
  • 1/8 cup bengal gram dal (channa dal)
  • 4 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tomato (finely chopped)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic (grated)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 2 tsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)


  • You can use any lentils that u wanna use or combine two to three types of dal to make it more healthy and nutritious. Here I have combined toor and chana dal.
  • What I do is I washed them thoroughly and soaked in enough water for half an hour, pressure cook  the dal in 3 cups of water along with turmeric and salt for 2-3 whistles until they are soft and but not too mashy. You can still see the whole pieces of dal. Then little mash them with back of a spoon or this kind of masher. After that your dal is ready. You can make in the pot but it takes longer to cook.
  • To begin heat up the ghee. Ghee makes the dal nice and flavorful.
  • Add the mustard seeds, dry red chili and cumin seeds.  Once they pop and start crackling, add asafoetida. Just stir it.
  • Now add onion. Once the onion turns to little translucent,  add chopped ginger, garlic, chilies and some coriander leaves. Cook them for 2-3 mins until all the raw flavor gone.Add the tomatoes and cook on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes Until  tomatoes become nice and soft. Also add the dry spices. turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder.
  • Pour the prepared cooked dal,  mix it.
  • add ¼ cup of water, mix well. Dal fry usually has a medium to thick consistency. So adjust the amount of water as per your desired consisiency. Stir occasionally.
  • My dal has been siimering since 5 mins. 
  • Remove from flame and take out in a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

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One Response to Dal Fry – A Moderately Spiced North Indian Dal

  1. T Kamiya September 4, 2021 at 2:14 am #

    Hello from Florida, USA.

    We made your Dal Fry recipe today. We had to omit ghee and halve the chili powder, but rest were exactly same as your recipe. It came out great! We’d definitely make it again. We bought some fresh baked naan bread from a local Indian store and that made it even better.

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