Sindhi Dal

Dal chawal [dal & rice] is eaten in all Indian homes from slums to mansions as a main course or side dish. There are dozens of lentil varieties & regional preparations. Here is a simple stew with a spice crust from the province of Sindh. 

makes 1 quart


1 ½ cups (275g) lentil mix*

1 tsp turmeric 

1 Tbsp ginger powder 

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp ghee or oil

2 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp amchur

2 tsp cracked coriander

2 tsp chili powder


  1. Rinse the lentil mix in water 3 times, then soak for 30 minutes. Drain by pouring most of the water out (a little remaining water is okay). 
  2. In a stockpot bring the lentils, 3 cups of water turmeric, ginger powder & salt to a boil. Discard any foamy scum that may rise to the top. Turn the heat to low, cover & cook for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. 
  3. Transfer the dal into a shallow serving bowl. Combine topping masala & spread evenly over the dal. Heat up the ghee in a small frying pan & pour over the top - spices will form a crust on top of the dal. Serve & enjoy!


    *referenced dal mix includes ½ cup masoor, ½ cup toor & ½ cup moong.

    We sell this as a kit at Pondicheri Houston & New York. An easy week night meal, great to entertain & impress or give as a gift.

    ideas / variations

    • Stir in 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach just before the dal finishes cooking. It will wilt but remain bright green. 
    • Add 2 cups grated carrots to the dal at the start of cooking. 
    • Stir in fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, just before topping it with spice crust.