Shahi Dal

Welcome back.  As promised in my last blog, here is my second Dal recipe: The Shahi or Royal Dal. This recipe derives its name from the richness of its ingredients which all of you would definitely relish. It, however, requires a little elaborate procedure. It can be served with both Roti (Indian bread) and Rice. I would recommend some fresh green salad along with to give this meal a perfect shape.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes


  • ½ cup Toor Dal
  • ½ cup Moong Dal
  • ½ cup Masoor Dal
  • 3 to 4 cups of water
  • 2 tsp Sunflower oil or Mustard oil or Ghee for frying
  • 2 tsp Ghee, for tempering
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic: finely chopped or grated or paste
  • 1 big size Onion, chopped
  • 6 to 8 pieces of small or Sambar Onions, sliced into half
  • 4 to 5 slit green chillies
  • 2 medium size Tomatoes, chopped
  • Chopped fresh Coriander leaves.
  • Whole Spices
  • ½ tsp whole Cumin seeds
  • 2 whole Cardamom
  • 4 to 5 whole Cloves
  • 1 to 2 sticks Cinnamon
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ½ tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 2 to 3 red chillies (optional)
  • Powdered spices
  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida
  • ¾ tsp Turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Chilli powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri Mirch powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin powder
  • ½ tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ tsp Garam masala powder

Optional: To enhance the nutritional value, add vegetables (like Green Peas, Carrots, Beans, Cauliflower, etc) chopped and lightly fried.


  1. Wash all the Dal together and drain the water.
  2. Boil Dal in pressure cooker with salt and water.  It would require three whistles on low-medium flames for a perfect boil.

First tempering:

  • Heat oil/ghee in a Kadhai (Indian Wok) and put the whole spices and asafoetida in it.
  • Add chopped Onion and fry till it’s translucent.
  • Add Green chillies.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and little salt (to taste) and fry. We have already added salt while cooking Dal, so be careful while adding salt.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and all the powdered spices.  Cook until tomatoes become tender and spices are well cooked until oil separates from it.
  • Add chopped Coriander and Kasuri Methi and stir for a while.
  • Add the vegetables, sprinkle little water and put a cover.  Cook the mixture on low flames for 5 minutes. If you are not adding veggies then skip this step.
  • Add the boiled Dal and leave the whole mixture on low flames for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir on regular intervals till the Dal attains consistency. You may add a little water if required.

Second tempering:

In a small frying pan heat Ghee and add chopped garlic, sliced sambar onion, 1 to 2 whole red chilli and a pinch of chilli powder in it for an extra kick. Fried sambar onion will surprise you with an extra crunch in your mouth.

Serve the Dal in a bowl and pour the second tempering over it.  Garnish it with freshly chopped coriander.  Your Shahi Dal is ready for the feast.


  • Usually I prepare this dish with three or more varieties of Dal.  One may use more or less variety depending on the availability.
  • To enhance the flavours of the veggies you can fry them in Ghee in a separate pan before adding it to the Dal.
  • If you do not have sambar onion, you can also use a regular onion for the second tempering but the surprise factor will definitely reduce.
  • If any of the above ingredients is not readily available you may still prepare this recipe without that ingredient. There may be a difference in flavour but I am sure the outcome would be tasty.
  • Apart from plain rice or roti, this can also be served with simple Jeera rice or Ghee rice.

Try this out yourself and share your experiences with me. Till then Happy Feast!!

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