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DAL FRY is a popular North Indian dhaba style dal recipe made with a mixture of toor dal / pigeon pea lentil and chana dal cooked to perfection along with spiced onion, tomatoes and aromatic tempering making it irresistible. Serve dal fry with tandoori roti to get the authentic dhaba feel.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Bihari chana dal puri kheer recipe, dal fry recipe, dal tadka recipe, dhaba food, Lasooni Arhar Dal Tadka
Servings: 6 people
Author: Arpita@Gastronomic Bong


  • Instant pot / pressure cooker
  • large thick bottomed pan/ large Kadhai


  • 1/2 cup Toor dal /Arhar dal/ Split Pigeon Pea lentil washed and soaked for atleast 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup Chana dal (Bengal gram dal) washed and soaked for atleast 30 minutes
  • 1 large Onion chopped
  • 2 medium sized Tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 inch Ginger chopped
  • 3-4 large Garlic chopped
  • 2-3 Green Chillies chopped
  • 1/2-1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin powder
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Dried red chilli
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • Salt (as per taste)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Oil /Ghee


  • 2 tsp Ghee
  • 2 Dried red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Hing/ Asafoetida
  • 1 Charcoal
  • 1 tsp Ghee


  • Add the washed and soaked chana dal and arhar/toor dal in a pressure cooker with 3- 3 1/2 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric and salt and half a teaspoon of oil. Pressure cook the dal until it s is nice and soft but not vey mushy.
  • Meanwhile add ghee in a large pan on medium heat and temper it with bay leaves, dried red chillies and cumin seeds.
  • Then add the chopped ginger and garlic and green chillies and sauté for a minute.
  • Then add chopped onion and saute for 4-5 minutes until turns soft and golden brown.
  • Next add in the chopped tomatoes along with some salt and sauté until it is soft and mushy.
  • Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder along with 1-2 tablespoons of water and saute the masala for 2 minutes on medium low heat stirring frequently until you see oil seeping through the masala.
  • Next add in the boiled dal and mix it well. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 4-5 minutes. You can give dhungar to the dal if you wish to right now. Check notes**
  • Heat ghee in a small pan, when hot temper it with dried red chilli and cumin seeds and hing. When the cumin seeds crackle pour it over the dal.
  • Lastly garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve it hot with tandoori roti for the dhaba style feel.


Dungar Method (optional)

1 charcoal and 1 tsp ghee
If you wish to add smokiness to the dal, you can do it by giving dhungar to it. Heat a piece of coal until red.
Keep a small metal bowl or foil in the centre of the dal and keep this hot coal piece in the bowl. Drizzle a tsp of ghee over the coal and immediately close the lid of the pan for 2-3 minutes.