Vegetarian with easy vegan, gluten free options
Time to make: 20 minutes (Instant Pot)
Table of Contents
Keys To Dal Fry
- Tadka or Tempering: This is where the big flavor comes! Cooking spices, garlic, onions, ginger and tomatoes in ghee or oil infuses the whole dish with a deep, bold flavor.
- Dal: While this recipe uses toor dal, you can use other dals or combinations of dal. Other dals you can use are moong, masoor or chana. Note, the Instant Pot cooking times vary with the types of dal.
- Consistency: Dal fry is a thicker dal compared to other dals like Spinach Dal which has a more fluid consistency
Ingredient Notes / Substitutions
Ghee: You can use oil in place of ghee, however, I recommend not skipping the ghee for the lush flavor.
Tomatoes: I used crushed tomatoes but you can use 3 small tomatoes in its place. The crushed tomatoes is what makes this dal look a bit darker in the picture above than usual dal fry.
Smoked paprika: Although, this is not necessary for the recipe it is what gives the dal a smoky flavor! Skip if you do not have.
Make it Vegan: skip the ghee and use oil in its place
Make it gluten-free: skip the asafetida (hing) and it is gluten-free
Make it Jain-friendly: Feel free to make the dal fry without onion and garlic.
Type of dal: While I like to use toor dal, you can use a variety of dals like masoor, moong or chana. Note, the cook times will vary with other dals though and are not covered in this post.
What is tur or toor dal?
Toor dal, also known as arhar or split pigeon peas, tuvar is a yellow dal that mildly flavored dal that is used commonly in Indian cuisine. It is sold oiled or dry. I use the oiled version for this and always rinse before using. The oil acts as a preservative.
Dhaba Style Trick
For restaurant or dhaba style, you can use the dhungar method. This basically uses smoked charcoal to infuse a smoky flavor into the dal. My favorite way is to use smoked paprika instead. It is optional
How to reheat dal fry? Since this is a thicker dal and it thickens with time, you will likely need to add a little water to get it to a good consistency when reheating. Use a microwave or stovetop to reheat.
How long can I store dal fry? This will keep about 4 days in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Try it? Leave a review, love to hear feedback! Or tag me on Instagram @some_indian_girl
Easy Dal Fry With Dhaba Style Trick (Instant Pot, Stove Top, Pressure Cooker)
- Instant Pot or
- Pressure cooker or
- 1 cup toor dal 180g
- 3-4 cloves garlic 15g crushed
- 1 tbsp ginger crushed
- ¼ cup onions chopped, 50g
- ¼ cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cumin coriander blend dhana jeeru 1/2 cumin powder, 1/2 coriander powder
- ½ tsp red chilli powder lal mirch
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp ghee or oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp asafatida hing
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 3 pieces cloves
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- Press Saute. Add oil and let warm up 3-4 minutes. Add mustard seeds. Let sizzle. Add asafetida. Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds. Then cloves and broken cinnamon sticks.2 tsp ghee or oil, ½ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp asafatida, ½ tsp cumin seeds, 3 pieces cloves, 3-4 cinnamon sticks, ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- Add garlic, onions then ginger.
- Add curry leaves.
- Add dal and spices.
- Add water
- Press Pressure Cook and increase time to 8 minutes. Let cook then do manual release.
- Dal is ready
- Serve with rice and onions. Optionally top with cilantro.