Dal Fry/ Restaurant style dal fry

Dal fry is another popular Indian side dish usually served with rotis or jeera rice. Made using Arhar dal, it tastes immensely delicious with simple steps in the making.

Arhar dal/Tuvar dal/Toor dal/Yellow lentil/Split Pigeon peas belongs to a Legume family.These are not only delicious but also are loaded with health benefits. Very rich in Folic acid which is an important vitamin for all women, especially those who are planning to get pregnant. Folic acid helps in fetal development and prevents from neural tube birth defects such as Spina bifida. Toor dal is also loaded with lots and lots of proteins, fibres and carbohydrates which keep you fit and healthy.

Now coming to today’s recipe “DAL FRY”. Many of us think that Dal fry and Dal tadka are same. Trust me they are not. Both are different in flavours and methods. In dal fry we first cook the dal and then mix it with the onion tomato base gravy whereas  in dal tadka we cook dal with tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic and mash everything once cooked and season them with mustard seeds, jeera, hing and red chilli. Dal fry seasoning is totally different. We do not use mustard seeds in dal fry. Also, consistency of dal fry is medium thickness whereas dal  tadka is more liquidy.

Dal fry suits well with chapatis, rotis or even jeera rice.


Measurements used:1cup-250gms

Toor Dal/Arhar dal – 1 cup

Onion – 1 medium (finely chopped)

Tomato – 1 Large(finely chopped)

Ginger – 1″(grated)

Garlic – 3pods(minced)

Green chilli – 2 (finely chopped)

Turmeric powder – 1/2tsp

Cumin seeds/Jeera – 1+1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1tsp

Coriander leaves – Finely chopped

Curry leaves – for seasoning

Ghee/Clarified butter – 2tsp

Red chilli – 2 (seasoning/ Optional)

Salt to taste


  1. In a pressure cooker, cook 1cup dal, turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp jeera till well done.
  2. In a kadhai, add ghee and allow it to heat
  3. Add onions, ginger, garlic and saute
  4. Add green chillies
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and little salt to speed up the cooking process
  6. Cook till the tomatoes turn mushy
  7. Add red chilli powder and fry for another minute or two
  8. Add cooked dal to this and mix well.
  9. Bring this to boil
  10. Add salt
  11. Add chopped coriander leaves
  12. In a seperate tadka pan, add ghee and allow to heat
  13. Add cumin seeds, red chilli and curry leaves. Once the curry leaves curl up top this seasoning on to the boiling dal fry and mix well.
  14. Serve hot with chapathi or jeera rice


  • Spice level can be adjusted accordingly. We all have our spice handling capacities 🙂
  • You can also give a smoky burnt aroma to this by using dhungar technique. This technique involves a charcoal piece to be heated first and kept it in a steel bowl or an aluminium foil bowl. Keep this bowl on the prepared dal fry and add 1tsp of butter on this and immediately close the lid of the pan so that the charcoal smoke doesnt escape out.By doing this the dal fry absorbed all the smoky aroma from the chacoal and smells heavenly. Try it out :)Next time I shall share pictures of that technique 🙂


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