Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dhaba style dal (Smoky whole green lentils)

Who doesn't like dhaba food? And for those who do not know what are dhabas....Dhabas are roadside restaurants found all over India.They serve mostly local and fresh food which is delicious. I especially love the dal that is cooked to perfection, flavored with onions, garlic and tomatoes, sometimes fresh cream is added to it and it  has a nice smokey flavor. Usually the dal that is used is urad and rajma (kidney beans). Here I have used whole green moong and tur dal.

I adapted the recipe from Taj Magazine *Taj vegetarian Fare.


1 cup green moong dal
1/4 cup toor dal
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 green chillies chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
2 teaspoon grated ginger and garlic
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon clove powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
a few sprigs of cilantro for garnish
1 charcoal
1 tablespoon ghee

Soak the moong dal overnight in water. Wash the toor dal and boil it along with the soaked moong and turmeric powder. It should not become too mushy. Heat oil in a separate pan and crackle the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the bay leaf and black cardamom and cook for a few seconds. Now add the chopped onion and green chillies. Cook till the onions get golden brown then add the ginger garlic paste. Stir for about a minute then add the garam masala,clove powder, salt and chopped tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start wilting pour the cooked dal, along with 3/4 cup of milk. Cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Now to give the smoke flavor, take melted ghee in a small bowl and place it on the surface of the cooked lentils. Take a piece of charcoal and light it on fire. Now carefully transfer in the the bowl of ghee. Immediately cover the pan. The smoke from ghee and hot coal will flavor the dal.
Once the smoke disappears. Take the bowl out of the pan and discard the coal and ghee. Garnish the dal with chopped cilantro and squeeze some lemon juice if desired. Serve with rice.


  1. Mmmm! More dhaba recipes please! I love this dal so much, I can have it just by itself - no rice or rotis required!

  2. Loved this delicious and tempting daal and the clicks are awesome!!

  3. Nutritious and super healthy dal, love dhaba recipes.Wonderful dish.