Dal Fry

Somehow Dal Fry always tastes more delicious at dhabas than it does at home. Ever wondered why? It’s because of the bold, smoky flavours that they add without shying. At home, no matter how hard we try, we always add a little less chilli, a tad less garlic, skimp on ghee etc. Sorry to break it to you, but that’s not how it works 🤷‍♀️ Whenever we stop to eat at a dhaba, Dal Fry is my top choice at most times. I pick it over Dal Makhani at most times 😱 The reason is simple…till recently I just wasn’t able to replicate the flavours of a dhaba style dal fry, but now I have!!
This recipe is bold, spicy & indulgent, not the boring old yellow dal that you’re probably fed up of 🙄. What’s more, it’s quick & can be served in under 30 minutes from start to finish. Serve this with hot tandoori rotis or naans, maybe a side of Gobhi Aloo, some pyaaz lachchas & you’re done! Give it a shot & you’ll never find yourself having another bowl of plain ol’ boring dal ever again 😁.

Dal Fry

Course: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A spicy, indulgent toor dal preparation with a bold tadka.


  • Arhar dal: 1 cup

  • Moong dal: 3tbsp

  • Onion: 1; finely chopped

  • Tomato: 1; finely chopped

  • Garlic: 5 cloves; chopped

  • Ginger: 1″ piece; chopped

  • Green chilli: 2; chopped

  • Turmeric: 1/2tsp

  • Jeera (cumin seeds): 1tsp

  • Garam masala: 1/2tsp

  • Heeng (asafoetida): 1/4tsp

  • Chilli powder: 1/2tsp

  • Fresh coriander leaves: A handful; chopped

  • Ghee

  • Salt to taste


  • Wash & soak both the dals for 30 minutes.
  • In a pressure cooker, add a spoon of ghee and the soaked dals. Roast the dal for a couple of minutes. Now add in the salt, turmeric powder & water. Let the dal cook on 2 whistles on high flame & 1 on low flame. Turn off the gas & let the pressure release naturally.
  • In a kadhai, add ghee. Once it warms up, add jeera & let it crackle. Now add the chopped ginger garlic & green chillies. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Next add the onions. Fry them till they turn golden. This should take about 3-4 minutes. After that, add the chopped tomatoes & salt (remember we added salt in the dal while boiling).
  • Once the tomatoes start releasing oil on the sides, add the garam masala. Give a splash of water. When the mix starts boiling, add the dal to it. Stir well & bring to a boil.
  • Now comes the time for the final & very important tadka! Take a small pan, add ghee. When it heats up, add heeng. Turn off the gas & add the chilli powder. Add the tadka to the dal.
  • Finally, add the chopped coriander leaves, stir & let the dal simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot with either steamed rice, naan or tandoori rotis!


  • Don’t skimp on ghee!
  • Though this dal is quick to make, it has robust flavours. Be generous while adding ingredients.

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