Gujarati Dal 

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A friendship that started with the need to meet more people, for the sake of my toddler, some 9 years ago, is one of the most precious one to me. I had returned back to USA from UK with my 18 month old Aanya (older one) and husband. Once Amit would leave for work, Aanya and I would be miserable. We both needed company, other than each others’. We both needed to see more faces. 

I went to the apartment complex main office and asked them if they could tell me if there were other kids my daughter’s age in that complex and they refused for privacy issues. The lady in-charge had become my friend and hinted me that there is a family above my floor with a daughter same as Aanya’s age. But she didn’t give me the number. 

In sheer desperation, I went to the top floor and knocked on almost every door. Can you believe it? I can’t believe it myself that I did that! Call me weird! But desperation makes you do 1000 things that sound weird. Well, finally one door answered to end my quest. I met Isha and her daughter Dhvani. She was warm and welcoming. We hit instantly. And here we are after 9 years, still strong as friends, even if miles away. Aanya and Dhvani call themselves cousins.

The “moral” of the story is, Isha is from Gujarat and it was her house first that I tasted this Amazing dal! I would drink bowls full of it at her house.

Now that is another story that Shailja helped me to put the missing pieces from my recipe together. So a Thankyou to you lady for rescuing me everytime when I am doubtful.

I served the meal with Bhindi Masala and Roti. Such a wholesome and comforting meal it was. My family loved it. 

Now the Recipe! This might not come out as authentic as it should to lot of Gujarati people. Please excuse me for that. But I adapted and adopted the recipe to my family’s taste and availability of the ingredients.


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Gujrati Dal

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Kitchen Equipments Required

Deep pot with lid or pressure cooker, stirring spoon, a small pan for tempering, chopping board, knife.


Tuvar / Arhar Dal – 1 cup, dry

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp 

Salt to taste

Tomato – 2 small chopped fine

Ginger – 1 tsp, freshly grated

*Kokum flowers – 3 to 4

*Jaggery / Gudh – 1 tbsp

Peanuts – 2 tbsp, dry roasted 

Cilantro leaves – 2 tbsp, washed and chopped fine.


Ghee / oil – 2 tsp

Asafetida / Hing – a pinch

Fenugreek / Methi seeds – 1/4 tsp

Black Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Cinnamon stick – 1 very small piece

Cloves – 2

Red dry whole red chillies – 1 to 2

Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 7 to 8


1. You may use lemon juice towards the end of the preparation in place of Kokum flowers. These are dried flowers used in the cusinie for flavoring and adding tart sour taste.

2. In place of Gudh/Jaggery, you may use regular sugar or brown sugar. To make it diabetes friendly, skip the sugar completely.


Boiling and Prepping the Da

1. Wash the dal in a bowl till water runs clear. Soak it in 1 cup of water, for 10 minutes.

2. Boil the dal covered, in the deep pot with turmeric, ginger and salt with 3 cups of water. It takes almost 20-25 minutes to boil dal in the pan. It gives foam while boiling. Just strain the foam out. I cooked mine in teracotta clay pot.

*If you are using pressure cooker, then use 2&1/4 cups water and cook. After 1 whistle, simmer and cook for another 5-7 minutes and switch off the flame.

3. Once the dal is cooked. Add chopped tomatoes, kokum flowers and jaggery to the pot/cooker. Simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Mash it with a masher or with back of ladle. 

Dal is ready.

Note – Traditionally, dal is boiled with raw peanuts. But I did not boil it with peanuts, rather added the peanuts towards the end.  

Preparing the Tempering 

1. Heat ghee or oil in small pan. Add asafetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and methi seeds. Lower the flame. 

2. Sauté for few seconds on lowest flame till they start spluttering. Add whole red chillies, cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves. Sauté for few more seconds till it starts smelling divine. Switch off the flame and add red chili powder. Stir well.

3. Add this tempering to the prepared dal. Stir well. Add chopped cilantro and roasted peanuts. Cook for 3-5 minutes more and then switch off the stove.

Note – If you are not using kokum flowers, then add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the dal before serving or else it will make the dal bitter, if added while cooking.

Serving Suggestion 

1. It goes very well with steamed basmati rice or Cumin rice and Roti.

2. It is excellent served as a soup as well.

Kokum flowers, dried !

Enjoy making this version of very famous Tuvar Dal and treat your family!

Note – 

  1. This Dal is gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. It can be made Diabetic friendly by skipping the jaggery part or using a pinch of sugar substitute. Also lower the ghee/oil quantity to make it heart healthy. 

  2. This dal provides essential nutrients like folio acid and fiber and protein for vegetarians as well as those who wish to merely limit their meat consumption.


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  1. Sona dear, what an mouth watering combination of Gujju sweat daal n bhindi masaledar. I tested dis combination last, about 30 years back when we were at Mount Abu with baba n Ranu and you all d kids with your mumma. Sweat memories. Love u.Sent via Micromax

  2. Aww.. That’s a wonderful story there, Sonal! How very brave of you- I somewhat know the feeling. 🙂 That dal looks absolutely delish! Nikhil loves Gujju dal and I think I am going to surprise him one of these days 😀

  3. Oh i am an absolute lover of Gujrati Dal ! It has been one of the first things i fell in love with in Gujrati cuisine… I have such fond memories of relishing this dal in company of local gujrati women when i used to for field visits to complete my design projects 🙂 Thank you for bringing those memories to life !

  4. What a beautiful story Sonal . I can relate to it as i was in the same boat too . Thank you my dearie for the shout out . Love the color of daal . This is one of my favorite too , especially in summer ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  5. this is one masterpiece of a post. First, the story although short is personal and really moving. So sweet! Poor mom and baby girl! But the styling . . the colors of the dal with the pewter plates and dark grey background and bread accompaniments . . . all flat out gorgeous. The peanuts remind me of the wild african “jungle” peanuts I see now in our co-op store . . . they’re kind of meaty and almost chewy. Bravo Sonal!

    1. Sue, this is a must try for sure. If you ever want to give it a try and find it difficult to gather the ingredients, yell for me. I will send the pre measured ingredients for you to create this at home.
      While writing, it brought back so many old memories :).