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Kaali Masoor Dal
Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh

Kaali Masoor Dal

  • Duration: 30 minutes (plus soaking time)
  • Serves: 4 to 6 people
  • Spice Level: Low

Authenticity Slice

To get the best colour and flavour of the dal, you could give the kali masoor dal a vinegar rinse after thoroughly washing it with water. This will help enhance its colour. For the dal to cook well, it is best to soak it in water for at least an hour before pressure-cooking it.

Trivia Tadka

Kaali Masoor Dal is the biggest winter hit of Uttar Pradesh, but its popularity also extends across all parts of northern India. In Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, it has a distinct flavour of garlic to it, whereas the Marwari and Brahmin communities of UP temper it with desi ghee along with lots of tomatoes and ginger. It goes best with Basmati rice, rotis and dollops of ghee.


  • Kaali masoor dal, washed and soaked for an hour (1 cup)
  • Tomato, finely chopped (2, medium)
  • Ginger (adrak), finely chopped (1 inch)
  • Green chillies (hari mirch), finely chopped (2)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Asafoetida (hing) (a pinch)
  • Coriander leaves (hara dhania), finely chopped (for garnish)
  • Desi Ghee (2 tsp, for tempering)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (½ tsp)


  • Thoroughly wash and then soak the dal in a vessel for an hour.
  • In a pressure cooker, add in the dal, the MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder, salt and water (should be an inch-and-a-half above the level of the dal). Pressure-cook the mix, timing it to 3 whistles, and then take it off the flame.
  • In a kadhai, heat the ghee and put in the jeera. As it begins to crackle, add in the hing and the tomatoes along with ¼-tsp of salt. Keep frying on a medium flame till the tomatoes become mushy. 
  • Next, add in the ginger and the chillies and stir-fry for another minute. 
  • Pour the cooked dal into the kadhai and mix well. Turn off the flame and cover the kadhai with a lid to let the flavours seep in well.
  • After about a minute or two, pour in a tsp of ghee and garnish with the chopped hara dhania.
  • Serve piping hot with rotis or rice.

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