Instant Pot Dal Fry | Dhaba Style Dal Fry

Instant Pot Punjabi Dhaba Style Dal Fry

Won’t it be a cardinal sin, if I miss posting the Punjabi style Dal fry when my theme is all about lentils and legumes? So here is my version of Dhaba style dal fry, bursting with the flavors of kasoori methi and other spices. Check out the instant pot and pressure cooker version of the dal fry and don’t miss the video.


When I was going through my archives this summer, I realized I have posted quite a few dal recipes but apparently missed this Punjabi style dal fry. Again, I am glad I missed it. :-) Isn’t this a perfect time to post this dal fry? When I started cooking North Indian food, I always get confused between dal tadka and dal fry. Then my friend V explained the differences. In simple words, dal tadka is the simple dal tempering without much spices, onion, and tomatoes and you add the tempering to the boiled dal, whereas in dal fry you add the cooked dal to the tempering and tempering is prepared with a whole lot of spices and with onions and tomatoes. Also, dal tadka is usually thinner in consistency when compared to dal fry. The sky is the limit, and you can create zillion varieties of this dal tadka and dal dry.

Instant Pot Punjabi Dhaba Style Dal Fry

I do prepare a simple dal fry with onions, tomatoes, coriander, red chili powder and of course kasoori methi. Sometimes I add the khada masala, but sometimes I skip them too. But for this recipe, I included all the spice powders and also the whole spices/khada masala. These days, Vaandu prefers the dal fry instead of the plain dal tadka. That was one more reason to pick this sub-theme under protein-rich recipes. :-)  When I was exploring the dal recipes, I came across this dal fry recipe, where the author used mixed dals for preparing the dal fry. The idea of mixed dal intrigued me and given the fact that this is a protein rich series, I decided to go with mixed dals as well.

Without any further ado, here comes the Dal fry recipe and the video. Please subscribe to my youtube channel and stay tuned for new recipes.

Recap:

  • Day 23 | 2015 – Aval Upma
  • Day 23| 2016 – Samosa
  • Day 23 | 2017 –Instant Pot Dal Fry | Dhaba Style Dal Fry

Instant Pot Dal Fry | Dhaba Style Dal Fry

The popular Punjabi Dhaba style dal fry prepared with mixed lentils, dried fenugreek and assorted spices. 

Ingredients:

  • Red Masoor Dal – 2 tbsps
  • Brown Masoor Dal – 2 tbsps
  • Moong Dal – 2 tbsps
  • Toor Dal – 2 tbsps
  • Channa dal – 2 tbsps
  • Green Moong Dal – 2 tbsps
  • Oil – 2 tsps
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Green Cardamom – 1
  • Cloves – 2
  • Cinnamon – 1-inch piece
  • Hing – 1/2 tsp
  • Half of medium sized onion
  • Tomato – 1
  • Garlic – 1
  • Ginger – 1-inch piece
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Chopped Cilantro – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1.5 tsps
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Kasoori Methi – 1/2 tbsp
  • Water – 3 cups + 1 cup
  • Milk/cream – 2 tsps (optional)

Prep – Work:

  • Wash all the dals and let it soak for 10 minutes.
  • Chop the onion, tomato, and cilantro and set aside.
  • Cut the green chili, garlic, and ginger into small pieces.

Steps:

Instant Pot Method:

  • Set the IP in saute mode and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom.
  • Fry for a minute and add the green chili, ginger, garlic pieces and hing.
  • Saute for a minute and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
  • Then add the chopped onion and all the dry spices including salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder.
  • Mix them thoroughly and add the mix dals.
  • Add 3 cups of water and mix the ingredients.
  • Set the IP in manual mode and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, let it sit for 5 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
  • Carefully open the lid after the pressure is dropped.
  • Mash the dal nicely with a potato masher and add one more cup of water.
  • Now add sugar, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and crushed kasoori methi.
  • Stir them all together and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • And that’s it. Dal fry is ready.

Instant Pot Punjabi Dhaba Style Dal Fry

Pressure Cooker Method:

  • Pressure cook the mixed dals by adding turmeric powder and three cups of water for three to four whistles.
  • Let it cool and then mash the dal and set aside.
  • Heat a pan or kadai and add oil.
  • Once the oil is hot add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom.
  • Fry for a minute and add the green chili, ginger, garlic pieces and hing.
  • Saute for a minute and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
  • Then add the chopped onion and all the dry spices including salt, red chili powder, coriander powder.
  • Now add the cooked dal and mix well and let it simmer for two minutes.
  • Then add one more cup of water, sugar, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and crushed kasoori methi.
  • Stir them all together and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • And that’s it. Dal fry is ready.

Instant Pot Punjabi Dhaba Style Dal Fry

Notes:

  • You can do the tempering with ghee for rich flavor.
  • Also instead of mixed dals, you can use any one dal variety and prepare the dal fry.
  • Adjust the salt and spices as per your preference.
  • Before serving you can add a dollop of ghee on top or add some fresh cream or milk.

Instant Pot Punjabi Dhaba Style Dal Fry

Instant Pot Dal Fry | Dhaba Style Dal Fry
Serves 4
The popular Punjabi Dhaba style dal fry prepared with mixed lentils, dried fenugreek and assorted spices. 
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. Red Masoor Dal - 2 tbsps
  2. Brown Masoor Dal - 2 tbsps
  3. Moong Dal - 2 tbsps
  4. Toor Dal - 2 tbsps
  5. Channa dal - 2 tbsps
  6. Green Moong Dal - 2 tbsps
  7. Oil - 2 tsps
  8. Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  9. Green Cardamom - 1
  10. Cloves - 2
  11. Cinnamon - 1-inch piece
  12. Hing - 1/2 tsp
  13. Half of medium sized onion
  14. Tomato - 1
  15. Garlic - 1
  16. Ginger - 1-inch piece
  17. Bay leaf - 1
  18. Chopped Cilantro - 1/4 cup
  19. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  20. Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
  21. Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
  22. Salt - 1.5 tsps
  23. Sugar - 1 tsp
  24. Kasoori Methi - 1/2 tbsp
  25. Water - 3 cups + 1 cup
  26. Milk/cream - 2 tsps (optional)
Prep - Work
  1. Wash all the dals and let it soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Chop the onion, tomato, and cilantro and set aside.
  3. Cut the green chili, garlic, and ginger into small pieces.
Steps
    Instant Pot Method
    1. Set the IP in saute mode and add oil.
    2. Once the oil is hot add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom.
    3. Fry for a minute and add the green chili, ginger, garlic pieces and hing.
    4. Saute for a minute and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
    5. Then add the chopped onion and all the dry spices including salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder.
    6. Mix them thoroughly and add the mix dals.
    7. Add 3 cups of water and mix the ingredients.
    8. Set the IP in manual mode and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, let it sit for 5 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
    9. Carefully open the lid after the pressure is dropped.
    10. Mash the dal nicely with a potato masher and add one more cup of water.
    11. Now add sugar, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and crushed kasoori methi.
    12. Stir them all together and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
    13. And that's it. Dal fry is ready.
    Pressure Cooker Method
    1. Pressure cook the mixed dals by adding turmeric powder and three cups of water for three to four whistles.
    2. Let it cool and then mash the dal and set aside.
    3. Heat a pan or kadai and add oil.
    4. Once the oil is hot add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom.
    5. Fry for a minute and add the green chili, ginger, garlic pieces and hing.
    6. Saute for a minute and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
    7. Then add the chopped onion and all the dry spices including salt, red chili powder, coriander powder.
    8. Now add the cooked dal and mix well and let it simmer for two minutes.
    9. Then add one more cup of water, sugar, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro and crushed kasoori methi.
    10. Stir them all together and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
    11. And that's it. Dal fry is ready.
    Notes
    1. You can do the tempering with ghee for rich flavor.
    2. Also instead of mixed dals, you can use any one dal variety and prepare the dal fry.
    3. Adjust the salt and spices as per your preference.
    4. Before serving you can add a dollop of ghee on top or add some fresh cream or milk.
    Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/
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    22 thoughts on “Instant Pot Dal Fry | Dhaba Style Dal Fry

    1. Sowmya:)

      Glad you didn’t commit the cardinal sin of missing out on The punjabi dal fry. Looks very tempting and delicious. And perfect time to post since – winter is coming!

    2. When I go back to Montreal I’ll be definitely referring to your recipes for the Instant pot ideas. Have loved your different dals from all over India and dhaba style dal is absolutely a must whenever we stop at roadside dhabas.

    3. Sapana

      For everyday cooking we skip the khada masala and add it occasionally if it’s a party or festival. Dhaba dal looks so delicious and it’s good for you that you did not posted it before.

    Would love hear back from you. Drop in your feedback and comments. Thanks