Thursday 17 November 2016

Punjabi Dal Fry

Punjabi Dal Fry

Punjabi Dal Fry a North Indian classic, this thick, comforting dal is the mainstay of Punjabi restaurants – both the fancy ones and the roadside ones called Dhabas. A winter staple, it’s amazing with lashings of ghee and hot buttered rotis, but you can go vegan and use oil instead too.


  • 1/2 cup toor lentils

  • 1/2 cup chana lentils (split bengal gram)

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 large tomato

  • Pinch of asafoetida (hing)

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste

  • Half tsp turmeric

  • Half tsp chilli powder

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 2 green chillies

  • Handful fresh coriander (optional)

  • Salt to taste

  • 3 tbsp oil/ghee


  • Wash the lentils well in a sieve with cold running tap until the water runs clear. Then bring to boil with twice as much cold water, and bubble on medium high for at least 30 minutes until the mixture resembles a thick soup.

  • You’ll have to keep adding hot water to prevent the mixture from drying up too much and burning. Just remember to add half a cup of hot water at a time only. It is a best idea to keep a boiled kettle ready when to make dal.

  • While it’s cooking, make your tomato paste for the dal. Slice the onion and tomato and bring the oil to medium heat on in a saucepan or wok. When it’s hot, add the pinch of hing and the cumin seeds, chilli powder and turmeric. As they sizzle up reserve a teaspoon of the red oil for later and toss in the onions. You don’t have to reserve the oil, it just makes for a better looking end result.

  • Sauté the lot for five minutes, and then stir in the tomatoes, ginger and garlic for another five minutes. Add salt to your taste. When the dal is ready, stir it through, drizzling over the reserved oil, the garam masala, fresh coriander (if using) and green chillies to serve.



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