Toor Daal (Pigeon Pea) - My Way

Toor Daal, also known as Arhar Daal, is a common food of northern India. A rich source of protein, dietary fiber, and if cooked properly, one of the tastiest daal of all. Toor Daal is mandatory part of feasts of my native place.

This is my recipe for toor daal, mostly copied from my mother's methods of cooking and ingredients used at my native place.


Pigeon Pea (Toor Daal)1/3 cup
Ghee2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds1 tbsp
Bay Leaf1
Red Chilies1
Green Chilies2
Asafetida1/2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder1/2 tbsp
Amchur Powder1/2 tbsp
SaltAs per taste

Quantity is good for serving two


Step 1 - Heat up cooker, to dry out all the water.

Step 2 - Lower the flame and roast unwashed Toor Daal.

Step 3 - When soothing aroma comes out and the yellow colour of toor Daal turns little darker, stop roasting and take it out in other vessel.

Step 4 - Wash out the toor dal, be careful of steam/vapours.

Step 5 - Cooker, which is still hot. Add ghee and heat it till it melts completely.

Step 6  - Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, red chillies, asafoetida. Roast them for 30 to 40 seconds.

Step 7  - Add roasted and now washed and wet toor Daal carefully.

Step 8 - Add Turmeric powder.t Mix it well. Roast for another 40 / 50 seconds.

Step 9 - Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Mix it well. Let the water come to boil.

Step 10 - Add Amchur powder. Do not mix now.

Step 11 - Close the lid and leave it on low flame for 20 minutes. After approximately 5-7 minutes, your kitchen will be filled with nice aroma of daal. Hold on, the daal is still cooking. After 20 minutes, switch off the flame. Let the steam settle down out on it's own, which takes another 10 minutes. Open the lid, mix the daal well.

Serve hot with white rice, with or without vegetables!!!

Letting the water boil before closing the lid, prevents the steam coming out with substances inside cooker. Hence keeping it clean.

Amchur or any sour ingredients, if mixed before cooking, makes Daal harder to cook, hence, do not mix after adding amchur, just put it and leave it floating.

This method does not need tadka, which is otherwise essential for daal. 

Optional Ingredients:
You can add Garlic cloves and/or ginger roots too. If you don't like, you may skip chilies, or use only whichever version you like.

  • Amchur Powder: Amchur is nothing but dried unripe mangoes in powder form. Amchur powder can be replaced by just dried mangoes. During summers, when unripe mangoes are available, you can replace Amchur with pulps of raw mangoes, also known as karry.
  • Ghee: Ghee can be replaced by mustard oil. No other oil combines well with Toor Daal.
  • Toor Daal: If you are looking for more healthy option, replace toor daal with moong.

Try it and share your experiences.


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