Recipe for #DalChawal

Dal Tadka & Peas Pulao

Dal and Chawal (rice)

Dal Tadka

Yield: for 4
Prep time: 30 min
Total time: 60 minutes

Recipe video :


  • Split Pigeon peas (Toor Dal) : 1 cup
  • Water to cook the dal : 2 cups for pressure cooker ,3 for pan
  • Onion (Pyaz) spanish or brown: 1 large
  • Tomatoes :2 chopped
  • Ginger(Adrak): knob-grated
  • Garlic (lahsun) : 2 cloves finely chopped
  • Turmeric (Haldi)-powder: ½ tsp
  • Juice of lime (Nimbu) as per taste
  • Green chilli : 1
  • Coriander to garnish

For tempering (Tadka)

  • Oil- sunflower/canola/olive (Tel) or ghee : 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds (Rai): 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) : 2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Heeng): a pinch
  • Cinnamon(dalchini)): 1 stick
  • Cardamom (elaichi) : 2–3
  • Cloves (laung): 2–3
  • Black peppercorns (optional): 2–3
  • Bay leaf (Tezpatta): 1
  • Garam Masala : 1 tsp
  • Salt (Namak) to taste


  • Wash & soak the dal depending on the mode of cooking(30 minutes soak if cooking in a pressure cooker and 2 hrs if cooking in a pan)
  • Put the dal in a deep pan (with lid)or pressure cooker with double the water (2 cups),salt and turmeric.
  • If using an Indian pressure cooker, it should cook after 2–3 whistles.
    If cooking in a regular pan, it may take up to 30 minutes until it is cooked.
  • Mash the cooked dal and add more water to adjust consistency , keep it on a low flame to simmer.

To temper

  • Heat oil or ghee in a pan
  • Add mustard seeds ,let it splutter
  • Add cumin seeds and asfoetida
  • Add whole spices - Cinnamon,clove,cardamom,bay leaf and peppercorns
  • Add finely chopped onions
  • Sauté for few minutes
  • Add grated ginger and garlic
  • Add chopped tomatoes
  • Let the tomatoes cook and soften
  • Add garam masala
  • Stir and add the cooked dal
  • Adjust salt
  • Squeeze lime juice
  • Bring it to a boil
  • Garnish with coriander
Dal Tadka!

Peas Pulao (Matar ka pulav)


  • Basmati (I used India Gate ) rice : 1.5 cups
  • Water for cooking the rice : 3 cups
  • Salt to taste : 2 tsp


  • Oil or Ghee : 1 tbsp
  • Onion (spanish or Brown):1 large thinly sliced
  • Ginger : 1 knob grated
  • Peas (frozen or fresh): 1 cup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Coriander : to garnish
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera): 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom (elaichi):2–3
  • Cloves (laung): 2–3
  • Bay leaf (Tezpatta) : 1–2
  • Black peppercorns: 4–5 optional


There are many ways to cook the rice- evaporation (in a covered pan ,I use this method),boiling(in an open pan), or using a pressure cooker, microwave or rice cooker.

  • Wash the rice thoroughly
  • Soak it for 15 minutes in water
  • Heat oil/ghee in broad base pan
  • Add cumin seeds and let them splutter
  • Add whole spices :Cardamom,cinnamon,cloves,peppercorns,bay leaf
  • Add sliced onions
  • Let them brown
  • Add grated ginger
  • Add the washed and drained rice
  • Coat it with onion spice mix well
  • Add salt
  • Mix it well
  • Add 3 cups of water (for soaked rice: add 2.5 cups)
  • Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 15–20 minutes
  • Add frozen /fresh peas and gently stir it through
  • Put the lid back and cook it for another 5–10 minutes
  • Squeeze lemon juice and garnish with coriander

Peas Pulao!


  1. Instead of pigeon peas (toor dal) any dal can be used — Moong dal whole or split,lentils,Bengal gram -and while the cooking time for each will vary the tempering will remain the same.
  2. Canned chick peas or red kidney beans can also be used,they do not need to be cooked for long.
  3. Temper with or without any of these-onion,tomato,ginger or garlic.
  4. To make it more wholesome add spinach,carrot and or pumpkin to the dal.
  5. Rice needs to be soaked for 15–20 minutes in the evaporation method or cooking in rice cooker. If you are boiling the rice no soaking is needed.
  6. To make vegetable pulao, once the onions are cooked chopped vegetables such as carrots , beans cauliflower can be added along with the rice. Cover the pan/cooker to steam and cook the rice & vegetables.
  7. To make it extra special-cashews,sultanas and saffron can be added to the pulao.

Read up #MasalaDairies curry excursion in search of a good North Indian Curry -Dal Chawal & more

(video courtesy: Eisha)

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