dal recipe

Simple Dal Recipe: the Ultimate Desi Comfort Food

Dal Chawal (Lentils and Rice) is a classic recipe that is the ultimate desi comfort food. This is a dish that I can never get tired of. The joy of Dal chawal is in its simplicity and savory taste. Serve it with kachomar salad, achar or kebab, dal chawal is always a winner! Sharing a simple Dal recipe with tarka.

Update: Added an Instant Pot version of this recipe also!

My brother, my bhabi (sister-in-law) and my adorable nephew and niece were visiting us this week. After a couple of days of eating out, we were all craving a simple dinner at home and my sister-in-law cooked the most amazing dal I have had in years. I shared a picture on Instagram (@urdumom) and many requested the recipe. My bhabi was sweet enough to share it and here I’m typing it out for you all in this post.

Side Note: My sister-in-law is brilliant, beautiful and so loving. I thank God every day that we were blessed with her to be a part of our family. So not only is she an accomplished Doctor, super dedicated to family, but she is also the most amazing cook! She whisked up this amazing dal, chopped up a colorful salad and had set the table, while I managed to get the white rice going on the rice cooker and emptied the dishwasher. We assigned the dads to put the kids to bed and bonded over food prep like any good desi family.

So now that you have the background, let’s get down to the dal recipe:


  • Half a cup Moong Dal (yellow split lentils)
  • One and a half cup Masoor Dal (red split lentils)
  • 4 Green chilies, chopped
  • Pinch of haldi (turmeric)
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chili powder to taste
  • 4 – 5 whole chillies
  • One red onion, chopped
  • 4 – 5 Garlic cloves chopped
  • Bunch of cilantro – chopped

How To:

  1. Mix the two dals in a pot and add water.
  2. Mix in salt, red chili powder, green chilies, haldi and two chopped garlic cloves. Put on medium heat.
  3. Let the dal cook to the desired consistency.
  4. In a separate frying pan, heat some oil and add onions to make them red. Now add garlic and whole chilies and fry for two more minutes.
  5. Now pour the onions mix on top of the dal and stir in
  6. Add some chopped cilantro as garnish

dal recipe

Serve the dal with white rice, kachomar salad and achar. You can also add potato cutlets, kebab or gosht bhar to the table.

If you want to increase the quantity of dal keep the ratio of Masoor Dal (red split lentils) 3/4 and Moong Dal (yellow split lentils) 1/4.

instant Pot Dal Recipe

  • If you want to make this dal in the Instant Pot follow step 1 and 2 by adding salt, turmeric, red chilies powder, green chilies and garlic cloves to the dal.
  • Now pour all these contents in the Instant Pot and add 3 cups of water for 2 cups of dal. Cook at Manual High Pressure for 8 minutes. Release pressure once the timer is up and open the pot. Pour the dal in a bowl.
  • In a separate frying pan, heat some oil and add onions to make them red. Now add garlic and whole chilies and fry for two more minutes.
  • Pour the onions mix on top of the dal and stir in
  • Add some chopped cilantro as garnish

Hope you enjoyed this dal recipe! Let me know how it turns out!

+ Recipe for Gosht Bhar

+ Recipe for Potato Cutlets

+ Recipe for Kebab


3 thoughts on “Simple Dal Recipe: the Ultimate Desi Comfort Food

  1. Lovely and yes sometimes all we need us our very desi daal chaeay after so much of gosht and chicken recipes. . Keep it up dear have a good blessed day ahead

  2. Yummy! “Learn to cook a simple meal of daal chawal or khichri and your life will be sorted” – says no one ever? But I made sure to learn and perfect my daals. It’s always a treat for me whenever we have daal chawal for lunch or dinner. It was a staple at my nani’s place – she’s from bihar and when ever we stayed at her place we would have daal chawal accompanied with some veg dish or chicken curry every. single. day. I guess this is where my love for this meal comes from! So many happy memories associated with one simple dish 🙂

    Loved your bhaabi’s version of daal. I also make it the exact same way, but I also add lots of chopped tomatoes in between. Brings a nice sweetness to it 🙂

Comments are closed.