Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Khatti Dal (Sour Lentil Curry)

Khatti dal (sour lentil curry), is the typical Hyderabadi preparation soured with tamarind. There are many ways to prepare it.

I have given you here the recipe, which I follow to prepare Khatti dal.


  • 1 cup Toor or Arhar Dal (Pigeon pea)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For Fried Dal Masala:

For seasoning to garnish:


  • Thoroughly wash the Toor dal or Arhar dal and put into a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water to it. Add chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of cooking oil and turmeric powder to it. Stir well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and set on high flame. After the first pressure release, reduce the flame to simmer and cook for one more pressure release. Turn off the flame and open the pressure cooker when it is cool.
  • Stir the boiled lentils well to blend into a smooth consistency. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir until the consistency is right.
  • In a small pan heat 3 tbsp ghee; add bay leaf, urad dal and mustard seeds; fry till spluttering stops. Add the curry leaves, green chilies and chopped onion; fry until onion turns golden.
  • Now add chopped tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, tamarind extract and salt. Fry it till ghee starts to separate from masala.
  • Mix this masala to cooked toor dal and stir well.
  • Add lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves to it.
  • Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and seasoning.
  • Prepare seasoning to garnish dal: Heat one tbsp ghee on a medium flame, in a small pan till hot. Now turn off the fire and add the asafetida powder and a pinch of red chili powder. Pour immediately over dal mix.
  • Serve with plain boiled rice.

Do You Know?

The pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan, syn. Cajanus indicus) is a perennial member of the family Fabaceae. Other common names are arhar (Hindi/Bengali), red gram, toovar/toor (Gujarati/Marathi/Punjabi), toovaram paruppu ( Tamil),togari (Kannada), Kandi (Telugu), gandul, guandul, Congo pea, Gungo pea, Gunga pea, and no-eye pea.

The cultivation of the pigeon pea goes back at least 3000 years. The centre of origin is most likely Asia, from where it travelled to East Africa and by means of the slave trade to the American continent. Today pigeon peas are widely cultivated in all tropical and semi-tropical regions of both the Old and the New World.


Muneeba Omar said...

Hi Nidhi

I came across your blog looking for authetic tasting recipes, and looks like I hit the jackpot. The pictures look like food from back home (lahore, pakistan).I am just wondering if you could provide some clarification about your recipes using the pressure cooker. I wanted to make the khatti dal, but I am not clear on what it means my two whistles .... I have a presto pressure cooker, but whenever I have used it, I have relied on a timer, never really listening for the whistle. Can you shed some light on what I should be listening out for

Many thanks!


Nidhi Raizada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nidhi Raizada said...

Hello Muneeba,

Let me first thank you for appreciating my blog.
As you know different brands of pressure cookers are available in the market. We rely on a timer when we cook food in a type of pressure cooker, in which ‘Pressure Regulator Weight’ levitates on its nozzle continuously, to allow excess of steam to escape during cooking; while we count the number of whistles or pressure releases, when we are cooking in a pressure cooker, designed to release steam intermittently, and thus preventing the pressure from rising any further.
You may therefore adjust cooking time accordingly, which might be same in both the cases.

Rashi said...

I just wanted to say that your dal recipes are really very good. I now always follow your recipes to make dals. They are very flavourful. I like how you usually mix 2-3 dals together. Looking forward to more dal recipes.


Nidhi Raizada said...

Thanks Rashi....you will get more Dal recipes soon....