Mom’s Delicious Dal Fry, it doesn’t get better than this

chilli cumin garam masala recipes

Dal Fry is a really popular Indian Lentil dish. It’s seasoned with a blend of spices giving it great depth of flavour. This dal never gets old, and is a staple of any north indian restaurant. It’s also easy to make. You can enjoy the dal fry with rice or roti or naan, it tastes great both ways. Here’s our home recipe, passed down through the generations!

Serves 4-5


  • 1 cup Toor Dal (Arhar Daal)
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, slit in halves
  • 1inch piece Ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder (for colour and mild heat)
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice (mix just before serving)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Coriander leaves to garnish

Cooking Method:

1. Wash and soak the dal in water for about an hour.

2. Heat the oil or ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds and immediately add grated ginger, slit green chillies and fry for about a minute.

3. Add chopped onion, fry for 2 minutes, then add tomatoes and again fry for about 2 minutes, stirring all the while.

4. Add the dry spices, fry for a minute and then add the pre-soaked dal and stir to coat the dal.

5. Add all the water and cook until the dal is soft and well blended. (about 15-20 minutes on low to medium heat).

6. Remove from the fire, add lemon juice to add a final sour zing to the dal, and garnish with coriander leaves before serving with rice / roti / naan.

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