Dhabewali Dal

All Indians love the dal that is served in Dhabas. Dhabas are roadside eateries, mostly originated in Northern regions of India. Though now they are found all around the nation, dhabas from North India still serve the best authentic Punjabi and North Indian food. This dal is also called as ‘Teen Ratan’ since it is made out of three different types of lentils. I happened to ask the recipe to one of the owners and he was kind enough to let out his secret. This is a typical dal recipe that is served at such dhabas, though each dhaba has its own recipe, this one tastes much like the one served at most places.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

1/4 cup urad dal (split black lentils),

2 tbsp chana dal (split Bengal gram),

2 tbsp rajma (kidney beans),

2 onions; finely chopped,

1 green chilli; slit into 2, (increase the quantity if you like it spicy)

2 tomatoes; finely chopped,

1 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic,

1/4 tsp turmeric powder,

1/2 tsp or to taste red chilli powder,

1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds),

A pinch of amchoor (dry mango powder),

2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves,

1 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves),

Ghee for roasting,

Salt to taste,

Little water.



Soak all the dals (lentils) in enough water for 7-8 hours. Later drain them and add them to the pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water. Pressure cook upto 5 whistles and then reduce the flame. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Rajma may take a longer time to cook, so make sure all the dals are soft. Mash them.

Heat some ghee in a kadhai or deep pan and add jeera (cumin seeds). Let them splutter. To it add garlic, onions, chilli and saute till onion is slightly golden. Then add tomatoes and cook till they become soft. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, amchoor and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add the mashed dals and stir well. Add coriander leaves, mix and simmer for 5-7 minutes. In the end, add kasuri methi, mix and serve hot with chawal (rice) or parathas.


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