Monday 27 May 2013

Dal Amristsari or Maah Choleyan di Daal...or My Mommy’s Dal

Dal Amristsari or Maah Choleyan di Daalthe two official names this dal is known by...there is a third name…"My Mommy’s Dal"!!...For the longest time I didn’t know that the Punjabi name for black lentils was "Mah", for me it was always "Ma"…and hence ma ki dal/mom’s dal/my mommy’s dal!! Simple, right? Well things normally are, aren’t they? So here is my Mom’s dal, the dal she makes the best or the dal I like the best (I know, I know, I say this every time I post a dal recipe but this one really is my favoritecross my heart!!)

Dal Amristsari or Maah Choleyan di Daal


  • Mah/Maa/Chilkewaali Urad Dal/Split Black Gram with skin, ½ cup
  • Chana dal/Split Bengal Gram, ½ cup
  • Fresh Ginger, finely grated, 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric, ¼ tsp
  • Salt, to taste

For tempering:

  • Fresh Ginger, finely grated, 1 tbsp
  • Fresh Garlic, chopped very fine, 1 tbsp
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1 medium
  • Tomatoes, finally chopped, 2 medium
  • Fresh Green Chilies, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Desi Ghee/ Butter or Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, Chopped


Combine both the dals and wash them till water runs clear. Soak for about half an hour, drain the water and keep aside.

Cook the dals together with salt, turmeric and ginger till almost done. (I pressure cooked with about 4 cups of water, 2 whistles – one on high, one on medium flame; if using a pan to cook the dals, you will need a little more water).

In a small frying pan, heat oil and sauté the onions till they start to turn brown. 

Add in the ginger ,garlic and green chilies. Sauté till onions go golden brown. 

Add in the tomatoes and cook till tomatoes go completely mushy and release oil.

Add this onion tomato mix to the cooked dal and lightly mash the dal against the sides of the pan/cooker with a ladle. 

Let the dal simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes till thick or medium thick consistency.

Serve topped with fresh coriander and butter (optional, but sooo worth it).

Ideally best served with tandoori roti but hits the spot with any kind of bread or rice or even on its own (which is how I eat my second and third bowl!!)


  • Vary the proportion of Chana Dal to Urad dal from 1:1 to 2:1 or 1:2
  • Add other spices in the tempering like cumin seeds and coriander powder; a pinch of garam masala when the dal is ready
  • Add about a tsp of Kasoori Methi in the tempering
  • Add a big fat pinch of Hing/Asafoetida when tempering
  • Add about ½ cup of milk in the last 10 minutes of cooking


  1. looks so to dig in.

  2. Sounds delicious, must try it soon, thanks for sharing.

  3. looks lovely ...perfect comfort food :)