Dal Fry ..Dhaba style

Dhabha style dal is always a great favorite among all the dishes in the Punjabi Cuisine. Known for its utterly simple yet giving an impression of a medley of aromatic fusion flavors, the hints of spices used comes through with each morsel. Personally the dhaba style can never be replicated, but a humble effort is made here .


1/4 cup Split pigeon peas,/toor dal
1/4 cup Chana dal/ Gram dal )
1/4 cup Moong dal ( Split green gram )
1/4 cup Masoor dal 

1 firm red tomato finely chopped.
1 medium onion finely chopped.
3 green chillis chopped finely.
2 garlic cloves minced. ( optional )
1 tsp grated ginger.
2 tbsp ghee/oil
salt to taste.
Pinch of turmeric powder.

3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Other ingredients.

 Either you can use whole spices for sauteeing or roast and powder them , am giving both ideas here..If you prefer sauteeing spices in the beginning, then skip the roast and grind part .

For sauteeing spices needed.

3 cloves
3 red chillis
1/2 tsp Garam masala  
1/4 tsp red chilli powder.
2 small pieces of cinnamon .
small piece of mace.


To roast and grind to a powder

1/2 tsp mace ( javithri )
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cloves
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel
A small piece of cinnamon
2 red chillies
2 tbsp dhania  seeds( coriander seeds ) 
Pinch of aamchoor powder ( OPTIONAL )

After roasting the spices carefully, let cool, grind to a powder and use as per your preference for the flavours. You can save aside for another day. If you prefer to add the spice powders instead of whole spices, skip step 3. sautee onions and tomatoes, chillis and the after adding the mashed dal, add the spice powder.


1. First wash and clean the dals in water, add pinch of turmeric powder, salt  and pressure cook with 5 cups of water for 3 whistles. 

2. Let the pressure  get released naturally, then mash the dals and keep aside.

3. To prepare the spicy seasoning , first add some oil or ghee in a heated pan, add all the dry ingredients mentioned done by one and sutee till a fine aroma is released, keep the flame on low

4. Add the chopped onions,let it turn transparent, add the green chillis, ginger, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and little salt and let it cook till softened.

5. Add the remaining dry powders and the cooked mashed dal. Stir well .

6. Add a cup of water to lighten the dal a bit and cook for 3 minutes on a low flame.
    Remove from flame, garnish with coriander leaves.

7. Remove and add a tsp of lime juice.

    Serve hot with rice or rotis.