Dhaba Style Punjabi Dal



Today we are bringing you a popular Dhaba Style Punjabi Dal. It is a popular Indian dish made with toovar dal and chana dal served at roadside Dhabas. Dhabas are hotels or restaurants alongside many Indian roads and highways.

The curry is often served with rice or naan bread and is spiced with garam masala, cumin, and chilli pepper. The best part is that it is a simple dish that is packed with flavour and also a very healthy dish, as it is made with a variety of healthy ingredients.

To make Punjabi Dal, soak the lentils for an hour or so. Then, they are cooked in a pressure cooker with water and spices. Once the lentils are cooked, they are mashed and simmered in a gravy made with cream, tomatoes, and more butter.

You can also check out the recipe for Stuffed Kulcha and Jeera Rice which serve as a perfect accompaniment for this curry.

Health Benefits of Toovar Dal-

Before starting with the recipe let’s first dive into the potential health benefits of its key ingredient i.e toovar dal (Yellow split pigeon peas)

  1. It improves digestion due to its high fibre content. Fibre helps bulk up stools and prevents constipation.

  2. It also improves heart health due to its high fibre and magnesium content. Fibre can help reduce cholesterol levels, and magnesium is known to be beneficial for heart health.


  1. It helps regulate blood sugar levels due to its low glycemic index. This means that it does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels after consumption.

  2. It boosts immunity due to its zinc and vitamin C content. Zinc is known to be important for immune function, and vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.

  3. It also aids in weight loss due to its high protein and fibre content. Both protein and fibre help to keep you feeling full after eating, which may help you eat less overall and lose weight.


  • 200 gms toovar dal (Yellow split Pigeon peas)
  • 50 gms chana dal (chickpeas split)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves)
  • 3-4 curry leaves (kadhi patta)
  • 2 dry red chilly
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

  • Wash the toovar dal and chana dal and soak them in water for at least 1 hour.
  • Drain the dal and pressure cook them with 4 cups of water and salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder for 4-5 whistles on high flame.
  • Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Once they start crackling, add dry red chilly, ginger, garlic and green chilli and fry for a minute.
  • Add onion and fry till they turn light brown in colour. Add tomatoes and fry till they become soft and mushy. Add 2-3 tsp water and sauté well.
  • Add garam masala powder, red chilli powder, lime juice, a pinch of turmeric powder (as we have added earlier at the time of cooking dal) and salt and fry for a minute.
  • Add the cooked dal, cream and kasoori methi and mix well. Add 1 cup of water and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  • Dal makhani is ready. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Explore other Dal Recipes

Dal Tadka


Prepared with a mix of lentils, Dal Tadka is one of the tastiest lentil-based dishes from India. With five protein-rich lentils/dals, this little different variation of Dal Tadka is a perfect accompaniment for jeera rice and parathas. It is one of the most popular and most ordered dishes in a restaurant or dhabas.


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