The Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe is a popular Indian Lentil Recipe that is served in Dhabas, on Indian highways. The Dhaba style dal is famous for its rustic flavor and aromatic tempering.
The Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe is perhaps the most sought-after Indian recipe after butter chicken. A dhaba is an Indian restaurant type that you will typically find alongside the roads and highways. The Dhabas of Northern India specially Punjab are famous for dishing out mouthwatering rustic dishes – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. If you are planning a trip in the Northern belts of the country don’t miss eating at a Dhaba! We love food that they serve at a dhaba for its simplicity and finger licking taste. This Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe is one of my favorite recipes for lentils.
What’s Special in this Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe?
The dal that are served in a Punajbi dhaba are mostly yellow tur dal or arhar dal as some call it mixed with chana and urad dal. I have made some tweaks, of course, and have made it with five kinds of dal to make it even healthier and richer. It enhances the flavor and ensures you are taking in a good amount of plant-based protein.
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What are the Kinds of Indian Lentils that goes in this recipe?
I am using a mix of Tur Dal, Masoor Dal, split green Moong Dal, Chana Dal and Urad Dal. All these lentils individually are healthy and when combined together gives a rich taste.
How to Make this Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe?
This Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe is in fact very easy cook. Taste of lentils depends quite a lot on the quality of lentils. I try to use the unpolished lentils that are easily available in the market, I find them tasting better than the regular ones. The aroma and flavor is going to come from the tempering so keep a close look on the steps.
Pick and wash the lentils twice and soak them in a bowl of water for at least an hour. While masoor dal is thin chana dal and tur dal requires some soaking. Rinse and pressure cook the lentils in water with little salt and turmeric powder for 20-30 minutes.
Pro Tip: If you are living at higher altitude the pressure cooking time takes longer. I pressure cook for 30 minutes. You might need lesser time depending on your location.
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For tempering, in a wok heat a tablespoon each of ghee and vegetable oil. Once hot add the whole spices and asafoetida. Add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste, and cook for a while or till the rawness of ginger and garlic goes away. Add the dry spices and fry till everything is incorporated. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they are mushy. Add the cooked lentils with its water and let it cook over low flame. Add ½ a cup water if you want a little runnier version of it. Season with salt and add green chilies and chopped coriander leaves. Serve warm with hot or steamed rice.
Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe
- Chana Dal - 2 tablespoons
- Urad Dal - 2 tablespoons
- Tur Dal - 2 tablespoons
- Masoor Dal - 2 Tablespoons
- Split green Moong Dal - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - a pinch
- Turmeric powder - a pinch
- Water - 2 cups
- Ghee or Clarified Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Vegetable Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Clove - 2
- Bay Leaf or Tej Patta- 1
- Asafoetida - a pinch
- Green Cardamom - 2 crushed
- Cinamon - ½ inch
- Dried Red Chili - 1
- Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
- Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoons
- Green chili - 1 slit
- Tomato - 1 large, chopped
- Turmeric powder - ¼th teaspoon
- Kashmiri Red Chili powder - ½ teaspoon
- Corriander Powder - ½ teaspoon
- Water - ½ cup
- Salt - to taste
- Corriander leaves - 2 teaspoons finely chopped
- Pressure cook lentils in 2 cups of water with a pinch each of turmeric powder and salt for 20-30 minutes
- Once done mash them with a masher to make it smoother
- In a wok heat ghee and oil together.
- Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, bayleaf and dried red chili as tempering.
- When cumin seeds start to sputter, add cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon
- Add onion and fry till translucent
- Add ginger and garlic paste and cook till the rawness goes away.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook them till they are mushy
- Add dry spices - turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and fry well
- Add slit green chili
- Add the boiled lentils along with its water
- Cook over low flame for 4-5 minutes till everything is incorporated
- Season it with salt
- Keep stirring the dal fry so that it doesn't stick to the bottom
- Add ½ a cup of water only if you want it a little runny
- Turn off flame when done and garnish with chopped coriander leaves
- Serve the dhaba style dal fry with hot roti or steamed rice.
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