Simple Dal or Lentil Curry

daal rice

Dal is a staple at my home and this recipe is very dear to me. After learning how to make a cup of tea, this dal recipe (lentil curry) is what I learnt from my mom. In India, dal is a staple food and there are many ways a simple dal is cooked.

Dal(Lentil)- Chawal(Rice)-Sabji(Veggies)-Roti(Indian flat bread), is a complete meal in any house, in India. And, if served with some Meetha(dessert) then it’s like Sone Pe Suhaaga ( icing on the cake) 😉

daal rice 1


3/4 cup       Toor Dal / Yellow Pigeon Peas

1 1/2           Tomatoes (chopped)

3                 Green Chillies (slit)

1/2  inch      Ginger (fine chopped)

1/2 tsp         Turmeric

a pinch of Asafoetida / hing

Salt to taste

Corriander leaves for Garnish

For Tempering / Tadka:

1/2 tsp          Mustard Seeds

1/2 tsp          Cumin Seeds

1 1/2 tbsp     Oil / Ghee

3                   Garlic Cloves (chopped)

2                   Dry Red Chilli

a generous pinch of Asafoetida / Hing

Curry Leaves


  1. In a pressure cooker, add 3-4 cups of water, cleaned toor dal, chopped tomatoes, green chilli, ginger, asafoetida, turmeric and salt.
  2. Pressure cook the dal on high flame. After the 1st whistle, lower the flame and let it cook for further 7-8 mins and off the flame.
  3. Once the whistle has released on its own, check the consistency of your dal. If the dal is thick, add some hot water. Adjust the salt as required and keep aside.
  4. Now for tempering, take some oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot enough, add mustard seed and let it splutter first. Now add the cumin seeds, garlic, dry chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds and when the garlic is light brown, turn off the flame. Pour the tempering over the dal.
  5. Garnish with some coriander leaves and Serve hot with rice.

24 thoughts on “Simple Dal or Lentil Curry

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