A super easy, super delicious restaurant style dal fry! You’ll never need another dal fry recipe again! This has been my go-to recipe for years, it’s definitely a family favorite. We make it almost every week. It’s a staple recipe.
1 ½teaspoonKasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves)crush between palm before adding
2teaspoonLemon juice or Lime juice
2tablespoonsCilantro or coriander leavesfinely chopped
Take toor dal in a colander and wash under running cold until the water runs clear. Or rinse the dal 2-3 times in a bowl until the water is not cloudy anymore.
Take rinsed dal in a pressure cooker along with fresh water. Cover the cooker with a lid, put the weight on and pressure cook on medium heat for 2-3 whistles. (Instant pot: manual, high pressure for 5 minutes.) Let the pressure go down by itself and then open the lid.
While pressure is released, start cooking masala. Heat oil in a pan or kadai on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
Add onion and sprinkle a little salt to speed up the cooking process. Cook until onion turns light brown or pink and super soft.
Add crushed ginger garlic and green chili. Mix and saute for 1 minute or until the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.
Add chopped tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft and almost mushy.
Add remaining salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix and cook for a minute, oil will starts to ooze out from the sides.
Add cooked dal and more water (if needed). Mix and let it simmer for 5 minutes on low. Do stir in between to make sure that the dal is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add garam masala and kasoori methi (crush between your palm before adding). Mix well.
Add lemon or lime juice, and mix.
Lastly, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Older batch or stale lentils (more than a year old) take longer to cook and requires more water than mentioned.
Soaking toor dal is not required. But if you have time then soaking for 30 minutes doesn’t hurt. Make sure to discard the soaking water. It reduces the pressure cooking time.
Adjust the spice level as per your preference by reducing (or increasing) the green chili and red chili powder quantity.
The preferred consistency of the dal is medium thick. While simmering the dal fry if it gets too thick then add a splash of water to adjust the consistency.
Don’t make too thin dal otherwise, the flavor will get diluted and won’t taste good.
Always add garam masala and kasoori methi after simmering the dal (meaning at the end of the cooking process) to retain their flavor, taste and aroma.
Do not simmer the dal after adding lemon or lime juice. Always squeeze and add at the end and turn off the stove right away.