One of the most popular Indian lentil curry which is forever matched with Jeera rice is a perfect combination for main course , be it any party or occasion. This is a dish which is also prepared regularly as part of lunch or dinner at home. There are several variations to this recipe, be it dhaba style or restaurant style. Here I am presenting the way I have cooked it

Dal fry and Dal tadka is not one and the same. In Dal tadka, tempering is done at the end when curry is cooked while in Dal fry, tempering is done before and curry is cooked in this tempering

Dal fry is simple to make and requires basic ingredients which we all have regular stock of in Kitchen. Do share your experience in the comments below once you have tried this dish 🙂

Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 20 mins Total time: 25 mins

Servings: 3


  • 3/4 cup Toor Dal/Arhar Dal/ Split Pigeon pea lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 green chilies slit
  • 1 medium sized Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi/dried fenugreek leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/Cilantro

Steps to prepare

  • Clean toor dal 3-4 times in water
  • Add cleaned dal to pressure cooker. You can cook this in a vessel too except that it will take more time to cook
  • Add 2.5 cups water to dal
  • Pressure cook the dal until tender and very soft
  • Now using back of ladle or potato masher, mash the dal and keep it aside
  • Heat Butter and oil in a pan
  • Add crushed garlic cloves,Saute until garlic is aromatic
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  • Now add green chilies and ginger garlic paste to the pan. Saute until raw aroma disappears
  • Add in finely chopped onions to the pan
  • Saute until onions are transclucent
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes to the pan
  • Add in all the spice powders and salt. Mix well
  • Saute until tomatoes are mushy and tender
  • Add in dal and mix well
  • Dal should be well coated with spices. Add 1/2 cup water and mix well
  • Simmer and cook for 5-6 minutes
  • Meanwhile dry roast Kasuri methi in small pan
  • Crush Kasuri methi well to powder
  • Add crushed kasuri methi powder to the pan and mix well
  • Add lemon juice and mix well. Switch off the heat
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with jeera rice /steamed rice/roti
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Dal Fry

Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

One thought on “Dal Fry/ Split Pigeon Peas Lentils Fry

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