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This is my entry to Nupur’s A-Z of Indian vegetables series. Dal is the quintessential comfort food for all Indians. Be it the tangy-spicy sambar or plain old tadka dal, no Indian thali is complete without dal. This recipe is from Tarla Dalal’s recipe newsletter. I love my lentils and make sure that I make a big pot of dal (like soup) every weekend that will last at least 2-3 days. That way all I have to worry about during weeknights is making a subzi (curry) and rice. Serve with steaming hot rice for a wholesome meal.


46 serving

Total time

65 minutes




  • 0.75 cup Toor dal
  • 0.25 cup chana dal
  • 2 cups Bottle gourd
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 0.25 tsp Turmeric
  • 0.75 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 5 chilies
  • to taste Salt


  1. Clean, wash and soak the dals for about 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Add the tomatoes, bottle gourd, turmeric, salt and 3 cups water to the dals and pressure cook till the dals are tender.
  3. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and when the seeds crackle, add the ginger, garlic, green chilies and onions and sauté till the onions are golden brown in color.
  4. Add the cooked dal and 1 cup water to the onions and bring to a boil.