Monday, March 12, 2012

Daal Curry - North Indian Style Curried Lentils


Have you ever been told that Punjabis are better built than the average Indian because they include plenty of daal in their daily diet? It may just be a myth that they are stronger than the rest of the country, but should you ever meet my friends, Harbhajan and Harjeet, you wouldn't think so (quite a boisterous couple). Anyway, I assure you that lentils are a rich source of protein, and they are not going to weaken you even if they do not turn you into a muscle (wo)man overnight.

Now that I am off non vegetarian food because of Lent, I find myself including more of lentils in my daily meals. Don't get me wrong, I do not calculate my daily protein, carbohydrate and vitamin needs and plan my meals accordingly. In my case, the chickpeas, kidney beans and pigeon peas are on only because they make great curries and accompaniments to chappathis. That they also make up for my protein requirements is just a happy and accidental bonus.

Let me share my favourite daal recipe with you. This is extremely easy to make and delicious. Team it up with rotis or white rice, raita and pickles (if you are the fussy kind) and you end up with a very satisfying meal.


You will need:
1 cup toor dal/tuvara parippu/yellow pigeon peas
2 dried red chilies
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely shopped
8 cloves garlic (the small kind), finely chopped
4 green chilies slit lengthwise
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon red chili powder
2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
3 cups water
1½ tablespoon tomato sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
To taste, salt


Pressure cook the peas along with water till the peas are completely cooked and mushy. About 4-5 whistles should be enough.

In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and dried red chilies and let the seeds splutter.

Add onions and sauté till they start to brown. Toss in garlic and green chilies and continue sautéing for a couple of minutes more. Reduce heat and add turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix in tomatoes and stir till the tomatoes have softened. Stir in the cooked lentils along with some salt and boil for a couple of minutes. If you want the daal to be loose, add some more water. Add tomato sauce, sugar and coriander leaves. Boil for a minute more. Take off heat and serve hot with rotis or white rice.



  1. You observe Lent? But you never came across as the pious kind to me...
    This dal adds tomato sauce and not a bit of garam masala? Should try it out.
    Pretty pics!

    1. :D nalla abiprayam ;)
      I observe lent as a matter of discipline....

  2. This looks really very healthy and delicious too....thanx dear 4 sharing this...nice...

  3. This dal looks awesome. love it. You have nice collection of rcipes.

  4. That's my favourite one,I can have this almost everyday.

  5. This daal curry is very good with chapatis.... Beautiful picture!!..

  6. You have a beautiful space here. Found your site through Foodgawker. I love dhal and can have it everyday. The pictures are gorgeous!

  7. Tasty! I love Punjabi foods. Daals are amazing. =)

  8. Hi Indu! The daal curry looks absolutely delicious! I am so glad to have discovered your blog through tastespotting :) You have a gorgeous space and wonderful photos. Will come back for more, meanwhile following you! And btw I am also Indu :) Indu is my pet name :)

  9. Thanks for dropping by Indu :). Ricotta cheese is almost like paneer, except it is creamier than paneer. You can add some heavy cream to milk and then proceed like you make paneer, using lemon juice. So the result is not as chewy as paneer, but very soft and creamy.

  10. i always thought it was coz of the meat in their diet, but considering how protien packed lentils are ur probably right. love the matka bowl :)

    1. hi indu, just wanted to let u know that i have nominated ur wonderful blog with 'versatile blogger award' please accept it if you wish :) cdnt find a contact email adress so posting it here

  11. so yummy n delicious... beautiful cliks....



  12. Hi Indu..came here from deeps blog.. LOved the pics & i am glad to have found your space :)..A happy follower now!

    Ongoing Event : I'm The Star

  13. You'll be having Lentil Easter then?

  14. Dhal curry looks so delicious. U have a wonderful blog. Happy to follow u
    My culinary Trial room

  15. very interesting pics you have shot. made this simple lentil curry turned in a temtping and inviting dish..

    am glad to follow u dear :)

  16. Hi, I was wondering how to substitute ground coriander for the coriander leaves? I can't find any leaves where I live. Thanks for your recipe!

    1. No, ground coriander seeds and coriander/cilantro leaves have different flavors. You can check for dried coriander/cilantro leaves. It adds a nice flavor, but you can skip if you don't find it.


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