Dal Recipe - Dal Fry - Lentil recipe

How to cook Lentils for lentil curry

This Dal recipe is one among easy Indian cooking recipes.Make it with Red or Green Lentil - Masoor or Mung dal or split lentil.

Dal is also spelt as as dahl, daal. It is also known as 'dal fry' or 'tadka dal'. It is also one of the quick cooking recipes.

You may call it anything but it is one popular Indian lentil recipe. It can be made using any kind of whole lentils or beans such as mung beans, red lentil (masoor) or with split lentils.

It is served with steamed Rice or roti.

You can use whole lentils or split lentils. You may also use the split lentils with husks as they are more nutritious. They may take a little longer to cook than the husk removed split lentils.

This is a very commonly made lentil dish. You can make it as mild or spicy as you wish. You can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days. Just heat and serve.

I am using Masoor (split red lentils), onions and tomatoes in this recipe.

How to make Dal Fry

Ingredients for dal for 4 servings:

masoor dal-450x440
  • Masoor dal - 1/2 cup
  • Tomatoes - 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Cumin seed powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Garam Masala powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Green chilies 2. Less or more according to taste.
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped.
  • Salt - 1 tea spoon or to taste.
  • Water - 2-3 cups.

Optional ingredients

  • Onions - 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Curry leaves - a sprig.
  • garlic - 2 cloves - chopped

Ingredients for seasoning:

  • Vegetable Oil/ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds(rai-sarson) - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds(jeera) - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida(hing) - 1 pinch
  • Turmeric powder(haldi) - 1/4 teaspoon.

Preparation for making dal

  1. Wash and Cook dal till just done by boiling in water. It may take about 10-15 minutes.
  2. You may also use pressure cooker to cook dal. Masoor dal takes the same time as cooking plain rice. Wash and keep the dal in a separate vessel in the pressure cooker. Add the required amount of water and cook.
  3. Slit chilies in two pieces.
  4. Chop garlic (if using)

Cooking Method for daal

  1. Heat oil/ghee in a deep pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds.
  2. When they stop crackling, add hing(asafotida) and turmeric powder, curry leaves, chopped onions (if using), green chili pieces. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic (if using) , tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes till tomatoes become soft.
  4. Add 1 cup water. Add coriander, cumin powders.
  5. Add garam masala. Add cooked dal, salt.
  6. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir. Add more water if needed.
  7. Boil for 5 minutes. Add chopped coriander leaves.
  8. Switch off the flame. Keep covered till serving time.

Dal Fry Curry is ready. Serve hot with Steamed Rice - Plain Rice,
Chapati, Naan Bread

Tips and variation

  • Using garlic and onions is optional.
  • I sometimes add some chopped ginger too.
  • You may use red chili powder instead of or along with green chilies. The color of the curry will change accordingly.
  • For variation, use only chili powder, coriander powder and cumin seed powder. Skip garam masala. This combination tastes good too.
  • Add 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut or desiccated coconut for additional taste and flavor.

Watch out for more dal recipes.


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