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Dhaba Dal Fry

  • Veg
  • Vegan
  • 30 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy


  • For Dal :

  • For Dal Fry :


When you are traveling in India and hunger strikes, the craving for warm comfort food rises. As you pass by a dhaba (small Indian restaurant), the smell of tadka and butter fill tantalizes and makes your drool! This aroma of tadka (tempering of spices in butter) is enough to make you decide on a traditional dhaba-style dal fry to satisfy the craving.

Local to the Punjabi cuisine, dal fry is a famous dish in India for its spicy and tempered flavors. Many people make plans and go out to and have this at dhabas to get the authentic flavor. But when there is no dhaba nearby, this easy recipe can help make dhaba-style dal fry in a jiffy.

Health Benefits

Pigeon pea lentil is an excellent source of minerals, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. It also houses plenty of proteins, amino acids and vitamin C. The high levels of dietary fiber and carbohydrates help regulate blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Calories per serving: 250 Kcal

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How to make Dhaba Dal Fry

For Prepping Dal

  1. Rinse lentils thoroughly and drain excess water.
  2. Pressure cook washed lentils with water and turmeric and salt on medium flame for 8-9 whistles.
  3. Check whether dal is cooked thoroughly and remove from flame.
  4. Mash cooked dal coarsely with a wooden spoon and keep aside.

For Dal Fry

  1. Heat ghee/oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds, then add cumin seeds and sauté.
  2. Add onions and fry them until translucent. Avoid browning the onions.
  3. Add ginger and garlic until raw odor of garlic disappears.
  4. Add green chilies, red chilies and curry leaves and fry for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Add turmeric, red chili powder and asafoetida and fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add tomatoes and cook them until soft and add mashed dal, water and salt and stir well. Let dal simmer for 4-5 minutes or until you reach a smooth thick consistency.
  7. Crush dry fenugreek in your palms and add to dal with garam masala and simmer for 1 more minute.
  8. Take dal off stove and garnish with fresh coriander.
  9. Serve hot with some melted ghee/butter on top with roti, naan or rice.


  • Pigeon pea or arhar was cultivated almost 3500 years ago, and now 82% of the lentil is supplied by India.
  • Pigeon pea lentil is thought to be first cultivated in East Africa around 2000 BC. It was then brought to America.
  • In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, arhar dal is used to heal wounds and sores.
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