Spicy Mixed Dal

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
spicy mixed dal

Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients for this dish. It really is easy to prepare. Creamy and spicy and a great recipe to go along with some buttered rice with some freshly cracked black pepper. I think my vegan readers would enjoy this, sans the ghee. The mixture of dal and spices surely makes for one healthy meal. I drafted this dish on a anxious day trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Well, anxiety is not always bad when you get results like this. I also recommend serving with some Indian crepes or pancakes.

Spicy Mixed DalSpicy Mixed Dal
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 25, 2012

A simple creamy and spicy mixed dal curry great for serving on hot fresh cooked rice or Indian flatbreads

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup split mung dal
  • 1/2 cup channa dal or yellow split peas
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon ghee or sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • generous handful of dried curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango) powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 5 whole dried red chilies, broken into pieces
  • 3-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Rinse the dal and soak in enough water to cover for at least 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a large pot, along with 5 cups of water and the turmeric. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes until the dal is creamy. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the paste. In a food processor or blender (I used my trusty Magic Bullet) combine all of the ingredients for the paste along with some water. Process until you have a fairly thick paste. Set aside.

  • Heat the ghee or oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and stir and fry until they turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Now add the the curry leaves and asafetida, Stir for a minute and add the prepared paste. Stir and fry for five minutes. Now add the tomato and amchoor powder and a bit of water. Simmer until the mixture is thickened.

  • Add the paste and spice mixture as well as the salt to the cooked dals and simmer until the mixture is thickened and the flavours are blended. Add more water if necessary to achieve your desired consistency.

  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot along with rice or Indian flatbreads.

Makes 6 servings
spicy mixed dal with spices

More dal dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd) Sambar
Creamy Mung Dal Curry
Mung Bean and Tamarind Dal
Tarka Dal


CleverGirl said...

mmm... how about also sharing your Indian Pancake recipe? Look yum! Although I'm actually thinking this dhal would go well with potato pancakes, Lithuanian style, which would allow me to put both of my ethnic backgrounds on the same plate, for once!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

Terrific post. I agree with the potato pancake idea! Thanks for sharing

Dave at eRecipecards.com

Anonymous said...

What does asafetida impart to the dish (or any dish)? I've been unable to locate it at our local Indian stores, no matter what name I call it. Is there a good substitute for it? (I'm assuming not or recipes would indicate such information.) Will the dish be affected much if I just omit this ingredient?

Lisa Turner said...

Asafetida also is sometimes called hing or perukaya. The use of this spice rounds out the flavour of Indian dishes. It is often used instead of onions or garlic. It is too bad you can't find it, but you can make this dish without it and it will still taste great. Maybe just consider adding a bit of garlic or onion.