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Dal fry in a blue bowl with rice, onions and a curry leaf garnish with a silver spoon to the side.
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5 from 3 votes

Easy Dal Fry With Dhaba Style Trick (Instant Pot, Stove Top, Pressure Cooker)

Easy dal fry with dhaba style trick/option.  Make it in an Instant Pot, pressure cooker or stovetop. It is a thick, hearty dal that is tempered / has tadka with big, delicious flavors of garlic, onions, tomatoes and spices. Serve it with some basmati rice or jeera rice and you are set for dinner!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: 30 minute meal, dal fry, easy indian dinner, instant pot dal, toor dal
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 152kcal
Author: Shilpa Joshi


  • Instant Pot or
  • Pressure cooker or
  • Pot


  • 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 powder 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


Instant Pot

  • 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
    Spices in oil in Instant Pot.
  • Add garlic, onions then ginger.
    Garlic and onions added to ghee in Instant pot.
  • Add curry leaves.
    Ginger and curry leaves added to Instant Pot.
  • Add dal and spices.
    Crushed tomatoes and spices added to Instant Pot.
  • Add water
    Water added to dal fry blend.
  • Press Pressure Cook and increase time to 8 minutes. Let cook then do manual release.
    Instant Pot
  • Dal is ready
    Dal fry ready in pot.
  • Serve with rice and onions. Optionally top with cilantro.
    Dal fry in a blue bowl with rice, onions and a curry leaf garnish with a silver spoon to the side.

Pressure Cooker


    Dal fry tastes great with jeera rice


    Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg