Mummy’s Dal Fry

Mummy’s Dal Fry

Mummy’s Dal Fry, extremely comforting, perfectly flavored and textures dal fry made with assorted lentils and basic spice blend.

Believe it or not, any type of dal (lentils) is my love language. And that love language is just next level when it is my mummy’s dal fry! This is one dish I grew up eating on regular basis and have never gotten sick of. And the reason is that this Dal Fry is just sooooo comforting, perfectly textured and loaded with flavors. I had to learn this one from my mom for obvious reasons! And I was so amazed by the fact that this is such an easy and fuzz free recipe. Because it does not require any complicated ingredients or steps!

mummy's dal fry

My mummy’s dal fry is one of those dishes that ends up on my dining table few times a month. My kids love it just as much as adults in my household do. I obviously tame the spice level down for my kids. Simply serve it with easy peasy IP JEERA RICE that is just as good as restaurant style jeera rice. And side of Indian style salad and papad. This simple recipe is great for weekday meals. I highly suggest you add it to you weekly meal plan! You can also pair it with Indian curries like MATTAR PANEER or UTTER PANEER MASALA. Along with naan on side to make it a full festive meal!

mummy's dal fry

I would be surprised if you end up with leftovers. But if you do simply use it to make dal palak parathas by using leftover dal fry and lots of spinach. If you are a big dan of dal, try some of my dal recipes like SURATI GARAM MASALA DAL, CHEVTI DAAL, GUJARATI DAL. Leave me a comment below or ping me on Instagram @myvegetarianroots if you make it and like it. I would love to hear your feedback.
Happy & Healthy Eating!!

Mummy’s Dal Fry

Mummy's Dal Fry, perfectly flavored and textures dal fry I learned from my mummy that is made with assorted lentils and basic spice blend to make the most comforting meal of all time!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


Ingredients for boiling (Boiling after soaking for 30 min)

  • ½ cup Toor Dal pigeon pea lentils
  • ¼ cup Chana Dal split Bengal gram/chickpea lentils
  • ¼ cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • ¼ cup Red/Orange Masoor Dal Red Lentil
  • 4 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder

Other Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 4 Whole Peppercorn
  • 4 Cloves
  • 3 Whole Dry Red Chilis
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 8 Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Assafetida
  • cup Finely Chopped Yellow Onions
  • tbsp Minced Garlic
  • cup Finely Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder skip if making it kid friendly
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder use either ½ tsp or ¼ tsp if making it kid friendly, skip it completely if your kid cannot handle spices at all!
  • tsp Salt 1 tsp + 1¼ tsp
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala 1 tsp if your garam masala is very strong! Use only ¼ tsp if making it kid friendly, skip it completely if your kid cannot handle spices at all!
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Coriander Powder dhana jiru powder
  • ¼ cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Water more or less to get your desired consistency. The longer the dal sits, the thicker it gets.
  • 1 tbsp Ghee


Soak and Boil Dal

  • Mix all the dal listed above. Wash them thoroughly. Soak them in warm water for 30-40 minutes.
  • Once soaked, get rid of water it was soaking in. Add them to Indian style pressure cooker or an Instant Pot with 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, ½ tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tbsp of oil and 4 cups of water. Bring it to boil.
  • Do 3 whistles if using Indian style pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally completely. If using Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 7 minutes and let the pressure release naturally for 7-8 minutes. Release rest of the pressure manually.
  • Once pressure is all released, carefully open the pressure cooker and give it a good stir, do not make the boiled dal mushy. You should see some whole lentils and some mushy. Mix of both gives great consistency to dal fry. Make sure the dal consistency is runny, if it is thick like paste, add some water (preferred 1 cup if using boiled dal immediately) and mix well.

Make Dal Fry

  • Heat up oil and ghee in a pan along with whole spices listed above (clove, peppercorn, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, whole dry red chili).
  • Once starts to fragrant, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Once they start to pop, add a pinch of assafetida.
  • Immediately add chopped onions and minced garlic along with 1 tsp of salt. Saute until onions are completely translucent but not brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are all mushy.
  • Add all dry spices listed above (red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin coriander powder and 1¼ tsp of salt). Mix well.
  • Cook the spice mix for 2-4 minutes on medium heat until the oil starts to separate.
  • Add the spice mix to boiled dal. Mix well. Bring dal fry to boil. If using IP, you can put IP on saute mode for the boiling/simmering part. If using Indian style pressure cooker, you can cook the dal in the cooker without the lid on medium heat for boiling/simmering part.
  • Once it comes to boil, add 1 tbsp of ghee (optional), chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Taste it and add more salt/spices if needed. Let it simmer for 2-5 minutes.
  • Serve it hot with some jeera rice and crunchy salad/kachumber along with papad!
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