Simple Daal Fry Recipe

There can never be enough daal recipes to keep your dinner menu fresh and exciting. Try this Simple Daal Fry recipe for a satisfying and filling accompaniment to plain white rice or chapati. As they say…”variety is the spice of life”.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


Toor Daal – 1 cup, washed and drained
Water – 3 cups
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp


Oil – 1 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chili – 1
Curry Leaves – few
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Green Chilies – to taste, slit
Onion – 1/2 medium, chopped small
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Garlic – 2 large cloves, minced
Tomatoes – 2 medium, chopped

Water – 1 cup (or as needed for desired consistency)
Salt – to taste
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) – few sprigs, chopped to garnish


1. In a pressure cooker, add Toor Daal, Water, Turmeric Powder and Oil. Cook on high for 1 whistle, turn off the stove and allow the pressure to go down on its own.
2. Heat Oil in a medium pan on medium heat and add Mustard Seeds. Allow them to pop.
3. Add Dry Red Chili, Curry leaves, Asafoetida, Green Chilies, Onions, Ginger and Garlic (in that order).
4. Mix well and cook until the Onions are translucent (2-3 minutes)
5. Add Tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add cooked Daal, 1 cup Water, Salt and Red Chili Powder.
7. Mix well, cover and bring to a boil.
8. Garnish with Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) and serve hot with rice or chapati.

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0 thoughts on “Simple Daal Fry Recipe

  1. Hi!
    I am a student studying in italy and i follow your website for any indian dish i crave for each day since my stomach is so resistant to the italian food now. Thanx a bunch for great recipes… I love your dals and chicken dishes the most and have tried a lot of them already.You dont need word of mouth advertisement, your passion for cooking just draws people to this website. 😀 It just shows how much you enjoy cooking and plus it is very clear when you talk while cooking which is very rare in youtube videos.

  2. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    Your wonderful website sincerely comes to my rescue every night when I come home from work and enter my kitchen and the same old question haunts me: What should I cook for dinner tonite :-)? Your recipes are simple and yet they do not need too much of prior preparation. A sincere thanks to both you ladies for making my life so much easier :-)!

  3. hi hetal and anuja,
    ur site is completely awsome…i had never liked cooking & so never cooked coz all r indian masalas use to complicate me, but ever since iv cm across ur site,im completely hooked to it and now enjoy cooking & like trying new recipes. u guys r doing a gr8 job.
    is it necessary to add asafoetida to the dishes coz its never been used in my home & so iv no idea how it will tates and also how to use it coz iv heard its quite pungent odour

  4. Aloha me dearios,
    Finally I found your lovely site.. thank you very much for all the work that went into it…

    Thank loads.

  5. hetal and anuja,

    can u make new punjabi dish ? like kadai paneer ? please ?

    Thanks and happy new year to you and ur family……….

  6. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    This recipe looks very simple but yet awesome. I would like to know why when I cook daal in pressure cooker(and I use a large size one) it still gets frothy and boils over. I add oil before I cook it but it doesn’t help.


  7. Hi Ladies,

    Thanks for the lovely yet simple recipe. Actually I do know how to make this & it hardly takes any time. Can I make a request please. My husband loves Shahi Tukha. If possible, can you show us your version of this recipe. Many thanks.


  8. Amazing blog 🙂 I just stumbled upon it from
    I love cooking variety of dhal by using different ingredients to amplify the taste 🙂

    BTW, I am hosting a giveaway on my blog.

  9. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    As always .. love your recepies and they turn out just yummm 🙂
    A couple of Q’s for thie recepie though.

    1. How does adding oil to dal while cooking help ?
    2. Add Dry Red Chili, Curry leaves, Asafoetida, Green Chilies, Onions, Ginger and Garlic (in that order)
    Why and How does the order matter ?

    And yes, spreading the word about your site 🙂

    1. Thanks for your support Bhakti!

      Adding oil changes the texture a slight bit but it is not absolutely necessary to cook the daal. We say “in that order” because the dry ingredients (red chili in this case) needs to go first, then the wet ingredients. Also, garlic tends to burn really fast so we add onions first to cool down the oil a bit before adding garlic. For new cooks, it is nice to have exact directions.

  10. I cook this dhal with some lemon juice. You can use it as soup too! It tastes wonderful when fresh.

    Why did you guys add green chillies without cutting? They will splutter in oil and sometimes even jump if there are whole! Hope none of the viewers got hurt! At least a slit is always recommended when adding green chillies to hot oil.

  11. I love your website and have told many friends about your ingenious well thought through demonstrations. With videos, you’ve figured out the logistics for the viewer and reduced a really complex cuisine into modules. So you provide more than recipes. You actually make Indian cooking idiot-proof! Thank you!

  12. i am a 13 year old kid and my mom makes all these awesome recipes for me i just have one question when are you going to show some paneer recipes? i really love paneer and am a big fan of it. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi Saket,

      We’re so glad you are enjoying your mom’s cooking! We have quite a few paneer recipes out here…to name a few: Tangy Paneer, Shahi Paneer (Paneer in Cashew Sauce), Roasted Paneer, etc.

    1. You can cook it on stove top but its going to take a long time! Also, you need to keep an eye on it. My neighbor used to grind the dry dhal and use the powder while cooking and she said it cooks lot faster. That may help people without pressure cooker.

    2. Hi Diana,

      Yes, just cook it in a regular pot. It will help to soak the daal first for about 1/2 hour. It will take longer than a pressure cooker but it will work. Also, you may need to keep adding water as it evaporates.

  13. Hi,
    Although this is a simple recipe, It’s very tasty. Also i make this the same way. Was wondering can i make this with masoor dal too? As for spreading the word about SMTC I have already recommended your website to my friends in India & Singapore !

    Keep up the good work !!


    1. Hi Jayashree,

      Thanks so much for your support, we really appreciate it! You can definitely use masoor daal in this recipe.

  14. I’m wonder where i can find one of those small pressure cookers. Mine is too large for these kinds of things..
    Love your web site, its one of my favorites.

    1. You can search the local Indian grocery store. If you live in the suburbs of or in a major city in US, you may find it @ the Indian grocers, or can ask the manager if they can get one shipped to their store from a retailer which you can purchase.

    2. Hi Dale,

      You can find them at the larger Indian grocery stores that carry pots and pans. We used to have an online store but had to close it due to technical problems. You can even search for them online. They are called “pressure pans”.

  15. Dal and rice, such a soothing dish any time. I love indian food, and have learnt a lot from your site. Thank you, Hetal and Anuja

  16. Hi Hetal & Anuja,
    This is a very simple but yet delicious recipe. I squeeze some lemon juice at the end to give it a little kick. I also want to know how to prevent daal for overflowing when using a pressure cooker. Once again thank you for the wonderful recipes. Have a great day!

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Sabira,

      Yes, I also love a squeeze of lime at the end :). I have noticed that the overflowing of daal water seems to happen for some pressure cookers and not others. My mom gave me this tip – maybe you can try it out. Cook the daal in the pressure cooker with the lid open until the foam starts to appear (beginning of the boil process). Then, close the lid and finish cooking the normal pressure cooker way.

      1. Hi Hetal,
        Thank you for your reply. I have tried your mum’s tip and I also remove the foam but it still boils over. I am using a stainless steel pressure cooker with a built in whistle. Maybe there is too much pressure. SMTC rocks 😀

  17. Yummy dal recipe !! Sure i will spread your website to my friends.

    I used to make in the sameway, but I like to season it using Homemade ghee, that adds tons and tons for flavor to the dish.

  18. I tell all of my friends about your site. I would have never believed that I could cook Indian food, but you’ve made it possible for even me – who was hopeless in the kitchen – to make tasty meals at home. Many thanks and keep the great recipes coming!

  19. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    Thank you for a lovely recipe. I have used some of your dal recipes in past, but of course, the ones I used were a bit more complex or with different flavours. I truly appreciate a simple “don’t have to think about it” dal. I have watched your shows for the last couple of years, and have grown from not knowing anything about indian cooking to being a not-so-bad Indian cook.(or so my friends tell me.) Thanks for adding a pinch of spice to my life.

  20. Hetal and anuja, u girls are doing a fantastic job!!! Really worth letting our friends know about ur website. 🙂 keep it up.

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