dal fry recipe | how to make dal fry dhaba style

dhaba dal fry recipe

how to make dhaba style dal fry recipe | dal fry dhaba style recipe with step by step pictures

Dals or lentils have a very important place in the Indian cuisine. Not only the variety of lentils available here is baffling, there are countless ways to cook lentils. Every part of India has a unique way of preparing lentil based dishes.

Dal fry recipe is one such popular Indian dal or lentil recipe. This is a Punjabi style dal fry recipe that you can often enjoy at the dhabas. Dhabas are basically truck stops along the Indian highways. These small eateries are extremely humble places but their heavenly food can give star hotels a run for their money.

how to prepare dal fry

jeera rice dal fry recipe

The yellow dal fry is the most common dal fry recipe. The yellow dal fry is made with arhar dal, also known as toor dal or yellow pigeon pea. There are other varieties that use mixed lentils.

To make the yellow dal fry, the dal is pressure cooked with turmeric, salt and water. The dal is soaked for 20 minutes or so, then pressure cooked for one whistle. You do not need to mash the dal because for this arhar dal fry recipe, we need the dal to be grainy; completely cooked, yet grainy. The texture is what makes dhaba style dal fry recipe so special.

Next, you need to prepare the tempering with cumin, mustard, and asafetida. Then go in the chilies, garlic, fresh coriander. The onions sprinkled with water when added to the flame set the content on fire for a few seconds. The tempering is seasoned with turmeric, red chili, and salt. Finally, you add the dal and bring it to a boil. And that it. Isn’t it an incredibly easy dal fry recipe?

After serving the dhaba dal fry into a serving dish, I have garnished it with fried onions to make it look more beautiful.

flambéing the dal fry

ironfrying pan for dhaba style cooking

I am a huge fan of dhaba food and dhaba style cooking. It is fast and efficient, not to mention, the food has a very distinct flavor, which is kind of smokey, thanks to the sigri (stove) and sheet metal pan. The high flame and cooking oil in a thin pan are just ideal for flambéing. Flambéing lends the dish a lightly smokey flavour.

The same goes for dhaba dal fry. I have used a sheet metal pan which you can find easily in the market selling utensils for commercial use. I had bought this for just INR 230 (USD 3.6 approx). It heats up very fast and you need to work quickly. Keep all the ingredients ready. Then you just have to toss them in one by one. Saute and flambé them and you are done!

If at all you cannot get this pan, you can make the dal fry in the usual pan as well, steel or ceramic, whichever you have. You can still do flambéing in these. Alternatively, you can smoke the dal fry recipe with a burning coal ember. I have illustrated the process in the step by step pictures below.

Jeera rice and dal fry recipe are an ultimate combo. But you can also prepare this dal fry for roti. It will taste equally good.

more dhaba style recipes

Here are some more dhaba style recipes that you would absolutely love. You should definitely try dhaba style chicken curry, which I have prepared in a handi. Other than that, there is sev bhaji and matar paneer.

Now let’s see how to make this dal fry dhaba style recipe.

how to make dal fry dhaba style recipe

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dal fry recipe - dhaba style | how to make Indian dal fry recipe
 
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The dhaba dal fry recipe is a delicious way to enjoy toor/arhar dal. The jeera rice and dal fry is an amazing combination that one must not miss.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
For Preparing the Dal
  • Toor dar/Arhar dal - 1 cup, rinsed & soaked for 20 minutes
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Turmeric - ¼ tsp
  • Salt - to taste
Other Ingredients
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 1 tbsp, minced
  • Green chilies - ½ tbsp or to taste, minced
  • Fresh coriander - 2 tbsp
  • Onion - 1 medium, thinly sliced
  • Tomato - 1 small, finely chopped
  • Asafetida/Hing - ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric - ¼ tsp
  • Kutilal or byadgi red chili - ½ tbsp (or ¾ tsp regular red chili)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Fried onions - for garnish (optional)
For Smoking the Dal Fry
  • Wood coal ember (if not flambéing)
  • Oil - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. For making the dhaba dal fry recipe, rinse and soak the toor/arhar dal for 20 minutes. Then pressure cook it with 2 cups of water, salt, and turmeric for 1 whistle. The dal should be soft, cooked through, yet grainy. Do not mash the dal.
  2. Sprinkle the sliced onions with a little water.
  3. Heat oil in the pan. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
  4. Then add the minced garlic and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds until fragrant. Stir constantly to avoid burning them.
  5. Add the coriander leaves and saute for a few seconds.
  6. Add the asafetida/hing and saute for a few seconds.
  7. Toss in the onions while standing away from the pan. The water in the onions, hot fan, and high flame of the stove will cause flambéing for a couple of seconds.
  8. Then cook the onions stirring them constantly till they start turning golden.
  9. Add the turmeric and kutilal or byadgi red chili. Add some salt just enough to season the onions because there is salt in the boiled dal as well. Give it a quick mix.
  10. Add the boiled toor dal and bring it to a boil. Simmer the dal fry for a 2 minutes.
  11. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir. Switch off the flame. Do not cook the tomatoes.
  12. Heat a wood coal ember on the stove until its red hot. Keep it in a small bowl. Keep the bowl in the middle of the pan containing the dal. Pour 1 tsp of oil on the coal.
  13. Cover the pan with the lid for 2 minutes only. The dal fry needs to have a very light smokey flavor.
  14. Dish out the dal in the serving bowl and garnish with fried onions.
  15. Dal fry is ready. Serve it hot with jeera rice and begun bhaja/spicy fried eggplants.

dhaba dal fry recipe with step by step pictures below


Step 1

For making the dhaba dal fry recipe, rinse and soak 1 cup toor/arhar dal for 20 minutes. Then pressure cook it with 2 cups of water, salt to taste, and 1/4 tsp turmeric for 1 whistle. The dal should be soft, cooked through, yet grainy. Do not mash the dal.

dal fry dhaba style


Step 2

Thinly slice 1 medium sized onion. Sprinkle the onions with a little water.

how to prepare dal fry


Step 3

Heat 2 tbsp oil in the pan. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and let them sizzle.

dal fry recipe


Step 4

Then add 1 tbsp minced garlic and 1/2 tbsp (or to taste) green chilies. Saute for a few seconds until fragrant. Stir constantly to avoid burning them.

making yellow dal fry recipe


Step 5

Add 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves and saute for a few seconds.

dal fry for roti


Step 6

Add 1/4 tsp asafetida/hing and saute for a few seconds.

how to make dal fry


Step 7

Toss in the onions while standing away from the pan. The water in the onions, hot fan, and high flame of the stove will cause flambéing for a couple of seconds. Then cook the onions stirring them constantly till they start turning golden.

making arhar dal fry recipe


Step 8

Add 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tbsp kutilal or byadgi red chili. Add some salt just enough to season the onions because there is salt in the boiled dal as well. Give it a quick mix.

making dhaba dal fry


Step 9

Add the boiled toor dal.

easy dal fry recipe


Step 10

Bring it to a boil. Simmer the dal fry for 2 minutes.

jeera rice and dal fry recipe


Step 11

Add 1 small sized finely chopped tomatoes. Stir. Switch off the flame. Do not cook the tomatoes.

indian dal fry


Step 12

Heat a wood coal ember on the stove until its red hot. Keep it in a small bowl. Keep the bowl in the middle of the pan containing the dal. Pour 1 tsp of oil on the coal. This is called dhuangar metod.

smoking the dal fry with charcoal


Step 13

Cover the pan with the lid for 2 minutes only. The dal fry needs to have a very light smokey flavor.

easy dal fry recipe


Step 14

Take the lid off and carefully remove the bowl containing the coal. Dal fry is ready.

dhaba style dal fry recipe


Step 15

Dish out the dal in the serving bowl and garnish with fried onions. Serve it hot with jeera rice and begun bhaja/spicy fried eggplants.

making dal fry recipe

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Shreshtha
    October 9, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Very nice explanation. Dal fry looks mouthwatering. I dont hsve coal so i might skip the last stwp. Hope it will taste good without it.

    • Reply
      Monica
      October 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Shreshtha. Yes, you may skip that smoking step if you don’t have the coal. I have explained about flambeing. You can do flambeing in a ceramic pan as well. The dal will taste good without coal too.

  • Reply
    rajesh singh
    November 29, 2018 at 9:12 am

    very tasty looking dal and i love the flambeing part. nicely done with the presentation.

    • Reply
      Monica
      December 1, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      Thank you Rajesh.

  • Reply
    Shuba
    March 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Hi Monica,
    I stumbled upon your website and quite delighted to find rare recipes. I am very intrigued by this dal fry and the flambeing process. I was under the impression that you could Flambe only using alcohol. Does it really work with water? I am eager to try to this recipe.

    • Reply
      Monica
      March 10, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Hello. Shuba. Thank you for your kind words and I am really glad you are here.
      Flambeing works when there is sufficient oil in the pan. Then pan should be very hot too. Then you sprinkle water in it, not lots of it otherwise it will cool off the content of the pan completely. Just enough water for the oil to splutter. Tilt the pan sideways or forward so that the splutters catch fire from the flame of the stove. Keep the flame on high and stand away from it while you perform flambeing.
      In this case I have sprinkled the onions with water. Flambeing usually takes a bit of a practice. Try it and share your experience. 🙂

  • Reply
    Shuba
    March 10, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for the detailed explanation, Monica. I will try the recipe and update you on the outcome. I am so glad to have found your website and can’t wait to try all of them. Great job with the repertoire that you have built.

    • Reply
      Monica
      March 28, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      You are most welcome. 🙂

  • Reply
    neetu
    April 1, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    awesome recipe. loved the idea of garnishing with fried onions. it added a nice crunch. thanks for the share

  • Reply
    Ramalekshmi
    July 28, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Very nice presentation

    • Reply
      Monica
      July 28, 2019 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Reply
    Kshama
    July 28, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Nice presentation. loving that crip onion for garnish on dal. plz share begun bhaja recipe also, i wish to make this entire meal like yours 🙂

    • Reply
      Monica
      August 4, 2019 at 5:32 am

      Thanks Kshama. Yes, beguni bhaja recipe coming soon. Stay tuned 🙂

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