Dal Fry ( A delicious and healthy blend of pulses with spices )

Dal fry and dal tadka which feature prominently in all restaurants and I always wondered about the difference,

Dal fry is made with tuvar dal,or a combination of tuvar dal and masoor dal.

The dal is cooked first, mashed  and kept aside.Then a tadka of onions, tomatoes,with spices is fried and sauteed in oil or ghee. the cooked dal is added and the dal is thinned a bit or retained thick.

Lentils are a staple in Asian cooking.Dal called  bele in Kannada, Prippu in Tamil, pappu in Telugu,

Dal is excellent to have with chapatis, paratahas

There are different kinds of dal preparation.

Yellow moong dal,Lobiya dal,Masoor dal,Panchratan dal are some examples sof popular dal varieties.

Split and whole pulses.

Although dal generally refers to splitpulses, whole pulses are known as sabit dal and split pulses are known as dhuli dal.

The hulling of pulse is intended to improve digestability and palatibility.

Most dal recipes are quite simple to prepare. The standard preparation begins with boiling a variety of dal (or a mix) in water with some turmeric, salt to taste, and then adding a fried garnish at the end of the cooking process. In some recipes, tomatoes, tamarind, unripe mango, or other ingredients are added while cooking the dal, often to impart a sour flavour.

The fried garnish for dal goes by many names, including chaunk and tadka. The ingredients in the chaunk for each variety of dal vary by region and individual tastes. The raw spices (more commonly cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida, and sometimes fenugreek seeds and dried red chili pepper) are first fried for a few seconds in the hot oil on medium/low heat. This is generally followed by ginger, garlic, and onion, which are generally fried for 10 minutes. After the onion turns golden brown, ground spices (turmeric, coriander, red chili powder, garam masala, etc.) are added. The chaunk is then poured over the cooked dal.

Dal tadka

In dal tadka the dal is cooked with tomatoes and onion till soft and spices added last. The tempering done last.

Dal fry is yellow coloured soup of lentils which can be made either with whole lentils or split lentils with or without husk and the flavors can be changed with modification.

Main ingredients usually used to prepare dal fry include yellow lentils onions, tomatoes, cumin seeds, coriander, fenugreek seeds, turmeric , chili powder.

Being a popular North Indian dish it is also regarded as a low calorie nutritious dish and form s apart of the main course of almost all Indian families and cooked regularly.

Dal fry is served hot with roti, naan bread, rice or pulao as an accompaniment. Hot tadka of ghee with crackling cumin seed, mustard seed, turmeric powder and red chili powder is poured which stimulates the flavors of the Dal fry recipe. Additional garnishing is done with julienne s of ginger, fresh coriander leaves, butter and cream.The consistency can be varied thick, semi liquid or liquid depending on the accompaniment and style it is to be served.

Dal fry is a rich source of protein and the nutritional value may vary with the variety of lentils. It is a caloric food with substantial amount of carbohydrate, fat, vitamin and provides a good source of minerals like calcium and iron. However, due to the high protein content it is unsuitable for people suffering from high uric acid.


1/4 cup yellow mung dal
1 cup red masoor dal
Pinch of turmeric powder.
2 green chillis slit
1tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated garlic
salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds ( kalonji)
1 whole dry chili
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes.

For garnishing.

1 tbsp chopped dhania leaves.


1. Heat a ghee/oil in  a pan , add the nigella seeeds,mustard seeds, kashmiri chilli for a few seconds.
2. Add the chopped onions and saute e till transparent.Add the grated ginger garlic.Add the green chillis.
3. Add tomatoes and little water , mix well and cook on medium flame for 3 minutes or so.Keep stirring .
4. Add the cooked dal , 1/2 cup of water and mix well, cook on a low flame for few minutes till it seems to come to a boil.
Garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve tasty dal fry with Pulao, rotis, naan, jeera rice.


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