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Dal Fry

January 2, 2020

Watch this video on YouTube to learn how to cook Dal Fry!

Dal Fry (Seasoned Pigeon Peas aka Yellow Dal)
(Tadke Wali Toor Dal)

Gluten-Free, Vegan

This is one of the most popular dal in Indian restaurants. It is often called Yellow Dal or Tadka Dal. It is made with split husked toor dal (pigeon peas) and is widely available in Indian grocery stores. I grew up eating this dal 3-4 times a week, slightly seasoned differently. It is basic dal and can be frozen for later use. 

Indians typically make dal in a pressure cooker as it reduces the time significantly. Instant Pot is a wonderful substitute for a pressure cooker with automatic features. 

Please see Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, and skillet directions below. 

1 cup toor dal ((split, hulled pigeon peas)
3 cups water
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon canola oil
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, finely diced
2 tsp green chilies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; to taste
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Cook beans in a pressure cooker, instant pot, or skillet. To cook in a skillet, see note* below.
1. Wash dal in 2 to 3 changes of water. (Soak for 30 minutes or longer, if you have the
time.) Drain and cook.
2. In a pressure cooker or instant pot, add drained dal, 3 cups water, turmeric, and salt. For
a standard pressure cooker, cover with a lid and put the pressure weight in place. Once
pressure develops, reduce heat to medium and cook under pressure for 3 minutes. Cool
until pressure is released. For instant pot, set timer for 3 minutes and open once the
pressure is released.
3. Prepare seasoning: In a small fry pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add the asafetida and
cumin seeds. Cook for a few seconds until cumin seeds are golden brown. Add onions
and cook until golden brown. Add garlic and ginger, cook for a few seconds. Add
tomatoes, green chilies, coriander powder and cayenne pepper, cover and simmer for 2-3
minutes until tomatoes are soft. Using a masher, lightly mash the tomatoes.
4. Add the seasoning to the dal and stir. Return to heat and simmer for about 4 - 6 minutes
until the dal is of desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, garam
masala, and chopped cilantro.
5. Serve with rice or roti/flat bread. (Note: Dal thickens as it cools. To reheat, you may need
to add a little water.

Makes: 8 servings
Serving Size: 2/3 cup

Calories: 120; Total Fat: 4 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Carbohydrate: 17 g; Protein: 6 g; Fiber: 4 g; Sodium: 336 mg

Recipe by Madhu Gadia, MS, RD. 

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