Gujarati dal recipe (How to make gujarati dal recipe)

  • on 13 August 2020
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This Gujarati dal is one of our family favorite recipes that I make multiple times a week. It’s healthy, it’s comforting and full of flavors that is so easy to make. 

To make it a complete cozy meal consider serving with hot rice (or phulka roti) and side of sabzi, papad and mango pickle.

A bowl of gujarati dal with side of papad & rice with napkin and spoons on the side with few cilantro & curry leaves

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❤️You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It has a balance of all these flavors – spicy, sweet, tangy.
  • It is protein-packed and healthy just like any other lentil dish. As being Gujju, I make it multiple times a week.
  • You can make a big batch and store in the refrigerator or freeze for later.
  • You have too much leftover and want to try something different. Make dal dhokli using leftover Gujarati dal. Most of the time, I make extra so the next day I can make dal dhokli.

🧾Ingredients

Here is the pic of ingredients required to make Gujarati dal. Plus, tempering (tadka) ingredients pic is shared later below. It looks too many, but trust me it is very simple and easy to make.

Ingredients used in gujarati dal includes toor dal, peanuts, jaggery, tomatoes, lemon, cilantro, red chili, turmeric powder, salt, ginger, green chili

Ingredient Notes

Jaggery: I always use desi gur (the sticky kind). You can use grated jaggery block or powdered jaggery. In the absence of it, please use light brown sugar.

Lemon juice: It adds a nice tang to the dish. Traditionally Kokum is used for sourness and added while boiling the dal in the pressure cooker. But it is hard to get here in the USA. I always use lemon juice. 

The gujarati dal you get in restaurants (in Gujarat) or in wedding functions, it has tamarind in it for sourness and kharek (dried date) for sweetness. Hence it tastes so different than our home-style version.

Green chili: My daughter eats this dal, so I don’t want her to bite into chilies, so I use slit chilies. So I can discard while serving. If you like the taste of chilies in your bite then you can add crushed or finely chopped one.

Now, this is the pic of Tadka ingredients. Looks many, but all of them are basic and easy to find in an Indian pantry.

Ingredients used for tempering dal includes oil, mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, dried chili, curry leaves, hing

🍳Step By Step Photo Instructions 

1) Wash toor dal under running cold water till water runs clear. If you have time then soak in enough water for 15-20 minutes. Or you can skip the soaking step. It will be fine.
– Take dal with 1 cup of water in the pressure cooker. Now take a small piece of muslin cloth, put peanuts in it and tie it. Make a ‘potli’. Put into the pressure cooker. Alternately, go for easy method. Add peanuts into a steel katori or glass and put it into the cooker.

2) Cover the cooker with lid, put the weight on and cook on medium for 6-7 whistles. Let the pressure go down by itself and open the lid.

3) Remove the potli and keep boiled peanuts aside.

4) Now add 2 cups of water into the boiled dal and blend it using an immersion hand blender till smooth. Traditional the wooden whisk (valonu or madani) is used to churn the dal.

Collage of 4 images showing dal in cooker, boiled dal, boiled peanuts. blended boiled dal till smooth

5) Turn the heat back on medium. Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.

6) Also, add ginger, green chili and tomatoes.

7) Add jaggery too. Mix well.

8) Let it simmer for a good 10 minutes. Do stir occasionally in between and if it becomes thick then add a splash of water and continue simmering. (the consistency of this gujarati dal should be medium-thin, not thick like punjabi dal fry)

Collage of 4 images showing addition of spices, salt, green chili, ginger, tomato, jaggery and simmering dal

9) While it’s simmering make tempering. Heat the oil in a small pan on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Let them sizzle.

10) Now add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and dried red chili. Saute for 30-40 seconds or till you get a nice aroma of whole spices. Then add curry leaves and hing.

11) Immediately add the tempering to the simmering dal & stir.

12) Lastly add lemon juice, boiled peanuts and chopped cilantro. Mix and serve.

collage of 4 images showing tempering is made and added to dal, garnished with cilantro

💭Expert Tips

  • The consistency of the Gujarati dal: My grandmom says that when you keep the dal in a bowl for a few minutes. Water should float on top and dal should settle at the bottom. If this happens then it is the perfect consistency of the dal.
  • Instead of boiling peanuts with dal, you can boil peanuts in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
  • Always add lemon juice at the end (after simmering is done). 

🍽 Serving Idea

Because of this thin consistency, have just a bowlful of dal-rice is not enough and filling. So it is usually served as a part of a meal (gujarati thali).

Homestyle everyday Gujarati thali contains, Gujarati dal (with a drizzle of ghee on top), rice, rotli, shaak (dry vegetable dish) and other sides are optional (e.g. chaas, papad, pickle).

FAQs

How to make in Instant pot?

Instead of a pressure cooker, you can boil the toor dal in instant pot on manual (high pressure) for 7-8 minutes. But I have seen many add all the ingredients (except tempering) and cook. Generally, I do not make that way, because I like my dal smooth (that’s how I grew up eating). If you add all at once, you can’t use a hand blender to make it smooth after boiling (as tomatoes, peanuts, chilies will get ground up). If you do not care for smooth texture then go ahead and do that.

How to make it Jain?

Simply skip the ginger in the recipe. Originally this is no onion no garlic dish so it is pretty straight forward to make it Jain.

a plate with a bowl of dal, rice, papad, sliced onions and lemon slice with garnish of cilantro leaves.

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📋 Recipe Card

Step by Step Photos AboveWant to make it perfect first time? Don’t forget to check out Step-by-Step photo instructions and helpful Tips & Tricks !!

Gujarati Dal {Authentic Recipe!}

Tried this recipe? Leave a comment and/or give ★ ratings

This Gujarati dal is one of our family favorite recipes that I make multiple times a week. It’s healthy, it’s comforting and full of flavors that is so easy to make.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Gujarati

Calories: 141kcal

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

US measuring cups are used (1 cup = 240 ml) See details

Instructions 

  • Wash toor dal under running cold water till water runs clear. If you have time then soak in enough water for 15-20 minutes. Or you can skip the soaking step. It will be fine.

  • Take dal with 1 cup of water in the pressure cooker. Now take a small piece of muslin cloth, put peanuts in it and tie it. Make a ‘potli’. Put into pressure cooker. Alternately, go for an easy method. Add peanuts into a steel katori or glass and put into the cooker.

  • Cover the cooker with lid, put the weight on and cook on medium for 6-7 whistles. Let the pressure go down by itself and open the lid.

  • Remove the potli and keep boiled peanuts aside.

  • Now add 2 cups of water into the boiled dal and blend it using an immersion hand blender till smooth. Traditional the wooden whisk (valonu or madani) is used to churn the dal.

  • Turn the heat back on medium. Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, ginger, green chili, tomatoes and jaggery. Mix well.

  • Let it simmer for a good 10 minutes. Do stir occasionally in between and if it becomes thick then add a plash of water and continue simmering. (the consistency should be medium-thin, not thick like punjabi dal fry)

  • While it’s simmering make tempering. Heat the oil in a small pan on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds and let them splutter.

  • Then add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Let them sizzle.

  • Now add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and dried red chili. Saute for 30-40 seconds or till you get a nice aroma of whole spices.

  • Then add curry leaves and hing.

  • Immediately add the tempering to the simmering dal & stir.

  • Lastly add lemon juice, boiled peanuts and chopped cilantro. Mix and serve.

Notes

  • The consistency of the Gujarati dal: My grandmom says that when you keep the dal in a bowl for a few minutes. Water should float on top and dal should settle at the bottom. If this happens then it is the perfect consistency of the dal.
  • Instead of boiling peanuts with dal, you can boil in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
  • Always add lemon juice at the end (after simmering is done).
  • To make it Jain, please skip ginger.
  • Instead of jaggery, you can use light brown sugar

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 serving




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