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Traditional Gujarati Toor Dal Recipe | Dal Bhaat | How to Make Dal

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

As a Gujarati, one of the things I love to eat is dal. This recipe is for toor dal, a dal that we eat with rice alongside a vegetable curry & roti.

I remember my mother making this a few times a week to go along with some dry vegetable curries she would serve. It not only added protein to our meals, but it spiced up our meal with a sweet and sour twist! I loved to eat this dal with rice and a dollop of ghee - simply delicious!

This recipe has been refined over time, resulting in a dal that we have enjoyed for many years now.

And all the ingredients should be available in your local Indian shop.

Tip: This dish freezes well too. Just let the dal cool completely, refrigerate for a few hours, then freeze in containers.

To defrost, place in the microwave or place on the counter for a few hours then reheat. Add water to adjust consistency if needed. Garnish with fresh coriander before serving.


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Gujarati Toor Dal Recipe Serving 5-6 People

Cooking Time: 30 mins (approx)


· 8oz / 1 Cup / 227g Oily Toor Dal (Do Not Use the non-oily kind)

· 2 Pints / 4 Cups / 500ml / 32 fl. oz. Water

· 1 Tbspn Cooking Oil (when boiling)

· 1 Cup / 250ml / 8 fl. oz. Tinned Tomatoes, Pureed

· 2 Tbspn Cooking Oil (for tempering)

· 1 Cinnamon Stick

· 1 Dry Red Chili

· 5 Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Seeds)

· ¼ tspn Mustard Seeds

· ¼ tspn Cumin Seeds

· 5 Curry Leaves

· ½ tspn. Hing /Asafoetida

· ¼ tspn. Turmeric

· ½ tspn. Red Chilli Powder (Cayenne)

· 1 - 1½ Tbspn Grated Ginger

· 1½ tspn Salt

· ¼ Cup Tomato Ketchup

· ¼ Cup Sugar

· 2 Tbspn Lemon Juice (Bottled or Fresh)

· 1 Cup Water (or as desired to correct consistency)

· 1 Tbspn Chopped Coriander for Garnishing


Wash the oily Toor Dal in a sieve with warm water. Try to rub the oil off the dal while washing.

Place the dal in a pressure cooker and add 4 Cups (2 Pints) water and 1 Tbspn oil.

Boil the dal with pressure for 13-15 minutes. When done, turn off the stove and let the pressure release completely before opening the pressure cooker.

Heat oil in new pan large enough to fit the cooked dal.

Add the cinnamon stick, dry red chilli and let them sizzle but not go brown.

Add the fenugreek seeds and let them fry for about 10 seconds.

Add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Have the pan lid handy while doing this as the mustard seeds will pop everywhere!

Add the cumin seeds, the hing/asafoetida and the curry leaves & let them sizzle for a few seconds.

Add the pureed tomatoes and cover immediately as this will splash.

Once the sizzling has slowed down.add the ginger, dry spices, salt, ketchup, sugar and lemon juice. Let this simmer for about 2 minutes.

Then place a sieve over this pan and sieve the boiled dal directly into the seasoning mix. Stir the dal in the sieve and push down to get it through the sieve. Add water as needed. You will see all the dark skin of the dal stay behind in the sieve.

Once the dal has been sieved, mix the dal and seasoning together and you will see the dal become a beautiful orange colour. Let this mix simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Garnish with coriander.

Serve as a side with vegetable curry or with rice and ghee & enjoy.

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