Tiranga Dal

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe for dal (this Un-Makhni Dal, cooked with a smoked pork hock). Typically, my dal preps are with single dals. Today’s recipe, however, is for a mix of three dals of three different colours. Hence the name: tiranga or tri-colour. Mixed dal preps are quite common in North India—and I myself have previously posted a recipe that uses four different dals. This is similar, except it leaves out the toor dal and the tadka is not identical. Which is to say, it’s different. This is for me very much a cold weather, comfort food dal. (This is only a personal thing.) It’s a hearty dal with good texture to it and I like to use a lot of julienned ginger in the tadka. You should feel free to tone that down if you like. It goes very well with rice or chapatis and I’ve also enjoyed it very much directly out of a bowl. See how you like it.


  • 1/3 cup peeled masoor dal
  • 1/3 cup split moong dal with peel on
  • 1/3 cup split urad dal with peel on
  • 3/4 tspn haldi
  • A big pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • 3/4 tspn zeera/cumin seed
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 tspn sliced garlic
  • 1 tblspn julienned ginger
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt
  • 1 tspn + 1 tblspn ghee
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1 tblspn chopped dhania/cilantro for garnish


  1. Rinse the dals together and cook with a tspn of ghee, hing and haldi till the masoor dal has completely turned to mush and the other dals have softened considerably. In an old-school whistling pressure cooker you would cook over medium heat for two whistles and then let the pressure subside on its own.
  2. As the dal is finishing cooking, heat the remaining tblspn of ghee in a wok/karhai over medium heat and add the zeera and dried red chillies.
  3. As soon as the zeera splits and the red chillies turn glossy, add the onions and saute, stirring often till they’ve begun to brown .
  4. Add the sliced garlic, the julienned ginger and salt to taste. Mix in and saute till the onions brown and shrink but still have a bit of crunch.
  5. Pour in the dal, mix thoroughly and simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Add the lime juice and mix in.
  7. Garnish with the dhania and serve with rice or chapatis.


  1. If you have a fancy non-whistling pressure cooker, you’re on your own figuring out the conversion.
  2. If you’re cooking this on the stove-top, I’d guess it would take 30-45 minutes. Bring it to a boil, uncovered, and then simmer with the lid on till done. You want to pay attention as it comes to a boil as the dal will try to jump out of the pot—just take it off the heat, stir it down and reduce to a simmer.
  3. You can adjust the texture by adding more water if you like—and you can do this when you add it to the tadka in the wok/karhai. I like it to be thick but pourable.
  4. If you want to use some tomato in the tadka, go right ahead.
  5. Yes, there’s a Reel.


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