December 07, 2007

Spicy Toor Dal Fry

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Even though I have been really busy this past week, I couldn't miss JFI:Toor Dal hosted by lovely Linda of Out of the Garden. A dear friend and a fellow Michigander at heart, she has a collection of amazing pictures of Michigan. I am looking forward to exploring and discovering Michigan with abundant help from her.

So I present to you Spicy Toor Dal Fry. You could probably make dal fry using a combination of dals as well. Dal Fry is another dish that I remember from my various road trips in India, specifically Uttar Pradesh. We would stop by a roadside dhaba and order some dal fry, sabzi and rotis. Almost always, the dal fry was spicy and delicious. Also taking a cue from the dhaba experience, I didn't grind my ginger and garlic, rather I cut them in small, thin slices. Biting into cooked garlic and ginger pieces gives an intense flavor to delight, but not intense to overwhelm.
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
3/4 cup toor dal
2 medium tomatoes - chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
2-3 cloves garlic - chopped thinly
1" ginger- chopped thinly
1 cardamom
piece of cinnamon
1 green chilli
2/3 tspoon cumin seeds
1/3 tspoon mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder (acc to taste)
1 tspoon coriander powder
1/2 tspoon cumin powder
1/4 tspoon garam masala
1/2 tspoon butter
1 tspoon oil

Cilantro leaves for garnishing
salt to taste.

Boil the toor dal till it's completely cooked. Set it aside.
Heat oil and butter in a deep bottom pan and temper it with asafoetida,
green chilli, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Add cardamom, cinnamon
along with ginger and garlic and saute till they start turning brown. Add
the onion and let it cook till onions start to turn brown. Add the
tomatoes and cook on closed lid till it turns soft.

Mix all the masalas together with a little water to a paste and add it to the
pan and let it cook for 2-3 min till it all mixes well. Add the boiled dal
and mix it well together. Add 1 cup water or more as needed.

The dal should be thick, not too watery. Cook for 3-4 min till dal
comes to a boil.

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Now take it off heat and serve it warm with roti or rice. We enjoyed ours with
roti and matar paneer. This is our entry for JFI: Toor Dal.


  1. Hi, dear Mandira!

    I am so happy you made it to JFI! UP -- Uttar Pradesh and Upper Peninsula! In India you could get this yummy spicy dal fry -- in Michigan you can get a pasty in crispy crust! Tonight I would have that yummy dal fry you've made -- love the idea to leave the ginger and garlic whole. I have lots of cooked toor here (no, really!) and I might just have to try this for my late supper tonight :)

    Glad to see you're feeling better and thank you both for this lovely contribution to JFI Toor. The second photo especially, looks so beautiful in the winter sun. Is that matar paneer (or tofu) behind?

    Hugs :)

  2. Really looks good. I love dal, i've never used garam masala in dal, nrxt time i am going to try this recipie when i make dal.

  3. Lovely a big fan of all kinds of dal.

  4. Although I cook other items daily, not a day passes without having steaming hot dal and rice. Your dal is making my mouth water. Looks so delicious.

  5. I like dhal with rice..really nice combination..;D Looks nice mandira!

  6. Dal Looks mouth watering. Nice entry, Mandira!

  7. Mandira,
    very good looking curry, def. would be very tasty too..

  8. nice recipe mandhira looks yummy

  9. Yummy! This daal with hot rotis drizzled with a lil' ghee and some green chillies by the side! That would make such a comforting meal :).

  10. Mandira, though it is dear old toor dal, the way you have dressed it up makes it absolutely delicious.

  11. Linda - I wouldn't have missed your event for anything in the world. And you have made the perfect connection with my past home and present :) That is matar paneer in the b/g. I hope you enjoyed the Dal Fry.

    Happy Cook - I don't generally use garlic or garam masala in dal unless in specific recipes. This is one of them.

    Thanks Jayashree, Kribha, RK, Daily Meals, Seena, Sagari. I am a big fan of dal too and usually have it on the menu multiple times in a week!

    Musical Ghee roti and dal... yummy and some karare aloo fries too. :)

    ISG thanks. Something different to stir up the week. ;)

  12. Ahhh! Marvelous. I could eat the whole bowl. :)

  13. Looks lovely! I've got a truckload of pulses stashed in every nook and cranny of my kitchen. Now I shall have to go shopping for toor dal! Will it never end? : )

  14. The dhal fry looks ravishing.

  15. Hi Mandira,
    Have included your Dal fry as a model recipe in the One page cookbook at

    /Thanks for the recipe

  16. lol ... my bf was just doing a search online of something he wanted me to cook and he came across this recipe... I told him u were a fellow blogger :) Now I will have to be making this for him... I'll let you know how we liked it :)

  17. Nice blog!! Looks delicious, feel like grabbing the roll right away. Thank you Chowringhee Satya Niketan


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