Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe – According to Wikipedia There is no definition of dal fry on Wikipedia. So I am writing a general understanding of what it is. Dal Fry is a lentil/mixture of lentils cooked till soft. A tempering of onions, tomatoes and spices is added to it before serving. It’s enjoyed with jeera rice, tandoori roti or naan.
According to Vinipedia
Marvelous!! That’s what Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe is for me. A soft lentils mixture, tickled with cumin seeds and asafoetida (heeng), flavored with kasuri methi and garlic, cooked on a choolah/hearth (I mean it tastes so). Its divine and now I am hungry.
Let’s Talk about Dal Fry Recipe
The lentils!! If you search the recipe of dal fry, you will find different lentils/lentils’ combinations are used for preparing this Dhaba Style Dal Fry. Generally, split pigeon (arhar dal) is used. I don’t like it much. So I prepared the combination of chana dal (split chickpeas), arhar dal (split pigeon peas) and urad dal (split and de husked black gram). The star of the show is a secret. Yeah, of course I will be revealing shortly. It will make the movie, (movie as in the dish) a hit, who so ever the other actors (other actors as in lentils) may be. Got my point no?!
The tadka\ tempering!! Now if we talk about the tadka/tempering, its very flavor full. There is lot of garlic and fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi). I had omitted the ginger. If you can want, you can add that too. I have given 2 tempering because I love to see it floating on the dal when it is served. You can go ahead with a single tempering. Feel free to customize it. The star is there, the dals and tempering are free to do anything.
The star!! Charcoal is the star of the show. You take any lentil/lentil combination, prepare any tempering, and just give the dish a charcoal effect. You are sorted. I wouldn’t have said so, if the title of this post not had the words “Dhaba Style“. For the dhaba style dal, do not skip char coaling it.
The Beauty of Dhaba Style Dal Fry
The beauty of Dal fry (Dhaba Style) is that it allows a lot of customization. You can play with the flavors of your choice. It is a very kind and forgiving recipe. I challenge you, GET IT WRONG .
And the Beast (the difficult part about dhaba style dal fry)
Nothing much can go wrong. But since I have this section on my post, I have to write something.
- The texture and consistency of dal: We want a nicely cooked dal. It shouldn’t be under-done or mushy.
- The charcoal effect: This is very important for the dhaba style. But… but… do not over do it.
Experience and experiments (tips and tricks)
The texture and consistency of dal:
- The timing of cooking the dal varies according to its quality. Check for its done ness after 12 minutes and cook further if required.
- Also this dal tends to thicken very fast. So add boiled water at the time of serving, if needed.
The charcoal effect:
- If for any reason you can’t add charcoal, make the dal without it. You might miss the dhaba factor; still you’ll have a delicious dal on your plate.
- A small piece will do the task for you. You don’t need to own a coal mine (you know what I mean, come on!!).
Let’s Just Talk
I have always loved dal fry. Whenever I am dining out, whether at a dhaba/restaurant, I love ordering this and it has never disappointed me.
I remember few years back, I was on a holiday with my parents and brother. We reached the destination and were thinking which hotel to check in to? Now days, we have everything booked and paid for so much in advance. I always pray to God, don’t make me ill, please don’t make me ill. Because secondly, I don’t want to miss the holiday and firstly, we have already paid for them :D. Anyways, going back to my story, #wheniwasakiddays, it was lunch time when we reached a hotel to check it. We decided to have our lunch there. No points for guessing, I ordered dal fry. And it was disastrous. I told my dad, “Please don’t even bother to check the rooms. We are not staying here. The hotel which cannot give a good dal fry, can offer us nothing.”
So all you hoteliers out there!! Keep a check on your dal fry.
DHABA STYLE DAL FRY RECIPE
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 Minutes + 1 Hours Soaking Time
Cook Time 1 Hour
Servings 4 Persons
INGREDIENTS FOR DAL FRY (DHABA STYLE)
- 1/2 cup split chickpeas (chana dal)
- 1/4 cup split pigeon peas (arhar dal)
- 1/4 cup cup split and de-husked black lentils (urad dal)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida (heeng)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 1/2 cup grated tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chopped green chillies
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 whole red chillies
- 1 piece charcoal (small)
- 1/2 tsp ghee
- Handful of chopped coriander
- Few lemon wedges
HOW TO MAKE DAL FRY (DHABA STYLE)
Take ½ cup chana dal (split chick peas), ¼ cup arhar dal (split pigeon peas) and ¼ cup urad dal (split and de husked black gram). Wash them thoroughly and soak them for an hour.
After an hour, drain the water in which the dals were soaked. Transfer them to a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water, salt to taste, ½ tsp turmeric powder and 1” cinnamon stick.
Pressure cook it on low flame for 15 minutes or till it is soft.
While the dal cooks, prepare the tempering. For that first prepare a masala/spices mix.Take 1 tbsp kasuri methi, 1 tsp cumin powder/jeera powder, 1 tsp coriander powder/dhaniya powder and 1 tsp of garam masala powder. Mix them well and keep aside.
Now heat a kadhai/frying pan. Add 2 tbsp ghee.
Add ½ tsp asafoetida and ½ tsp cumin seeds/jeera. Keep the flame low. And let the cumin seeds/jeera splutter well.
Add ½ cup chopped onion. Cook till they are brown. This will take 5-7 minutes.
Add 1 tbsp crushed/minced garlic. Cook it till the raw smell goes. Here I am using crushed garlic instead of chopped one. This is because the chopped garlic remains very prominent and tends to surface on the dal. I personally don’t like that. You can also use garlic paste if you want. However the crushed garlic will give more texture to the dish.
Add ½ cup grated tomatoes. Again, many recipes use chopped tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes get de skinned while cooking and then that skin, it takes longer to dissolve in the dal. Pureed tomatoes too can be used but for better texture grate them.
Cook the tomatoes till the oil oozes out. Cook on low flame. This will take 7-10 minutes.
Add ¼ cup water and cook for 3-4 minutes. This is important as it brings everything together.
Add the spice mix/masala mix prepared earlier and cook for couple of minutes.
Add 1 tsp chopped green chilies.
Going back to the dals/lentils. Let the pressure from the cooker release on its. Check the cooked lentils. They should be soft.
Add the prepared tempering/tadka to the cooked dal.
Mix well and check for the consistency and seasoning.
To give the smoky effect; Place a bowl on the dal.
Heat a small piece of charcoal. Now charcoal takes some time to get hot. We need a red hot one. This will take 2-3 minutes.
Put the hot charcoal in the bowl.
Add ½ tsp ghee on the hot charcoal.
Cover the pan/cooker of dal. If the dal is still in pressure cooker, close the lid after removing the whistle. If it has been transferred to a separate bowl or pan, place some weight on the lid so the smoke doesn’t release and your neighbours don’t call the fire brigade. You know what I mean. Leave it for 10 minutes. Transfer the dal in a serving dish and prepare the second tempering.
For the second tempering, in a tadka pan/frying pan heat 1 tbsp ghee.
Add 1 tbsp butter. Add butter after ghee otherwise it might burn.
Add 2 whole red chillies. Let them cook i.e. fluff up. Don’t burn them. Keep the flame low.
Put off the flame and add 1 tsp red chilli powder.
Pour it over the served dal. Finish off with some lemon juice and finely chopped coriander.
Dal Fry can be served with chapatti, tandoori roti, parantha, naan or rice.
I prepared it for a Sunday lunch and served with tandoori aalu paranthas, green salad, jeera rice and tadke wali chhaach.
Watch Video – Dhaba Style Dal Fry Recipe | Dhaba Style Recipes
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