The best recipe for Dhaba-Style Butter Dal made with red lentils and a restaurant-style tempering! Super rich but there is no cream in this. Try it! Gluten-free Soyfree Nutfree
Coming at you with the best butter dal ever! This dal is a famous dish straight from a Dhaba in my hometown. For those who don’t know, Dhabas are little roadside restaurants serving simple yet flavorful and rustic dishes. They are an essential and vibrant component of the Indian food scene.
As compared to five-star restaurants, Dhabas have their own charm and lure and so does this dal. Minimalistic ingredients but bang-on flavor. This dhaba style butter dal always impresses us. After all, all of us sometimes want a big old bowl of comfort food and this dal is just that.
It’s called Butter dal because the Dhaba fries the dal in hot spiced butter before serving.
Butter dal is a perfect and delicious Indian dal. This recipe just happens to be onion and garlic free. It’s one of those recipes that doesnt use them by default. Street vendors don’t always have refrigeration, and Onion and garlic in the tropical heat can get quite smelly so some chefs just make the dishes without them.
why you will love this vegan butter dal!
- it’s an easy but super delicious dollar.
- It is highly allergy friendly gluten-free nut free soy free.
- It also is allium free and doesn’t use any onion and garlic and is Jain friendly.
- uses mostly common Indian spices. Use whichever you have.
- The dal can be served with rice or corn greens, with roti or naan, or baked potato, or as a soup.
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More Indian dals:
- Instant Pot Dal Bukhara Dump and Done!
- Vegan Handi Lentils (Creamy Indian Dal)
- Toor Daal with Bay Leaf and crisp Cilantro
- Masoor Dal Tadka
- potato spinach dal – aloo palak dal
Dhaba style Butter Dal Vegan no Onion No Garlic
For the dal:
- 3/4 cup (135 g) split red lentils (masoor dal) , see notes for other lentils
- 3 cups (709.76 ml) water
- 1 inch ginger julienned or finely chopped
- 1 hot green chili such as serano or indian chili finely chopped or Use mild chili if you wish
- 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium tomato, chopped small
For the tempering or tadka:
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 dried red chilis use hot Indian or Thai, or for mild use California red or Kashmiri
- 6 black pepper corns
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
- 2 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder or use paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or indian chili powder optional
- 1 large tomato cubed into 1 inch slices
- cilantro and lemon juice for garnish
- Cook the dal: add all of the ingredients under dal in a saucepan and mix well.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. Then partially cover after bringing to a boil then cook until the dal is tender to preference, 13-15 minutes. See recipe notes if using other lentils
- Make the tempering: add butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute until the seeds change color and get very fragrant.
- Then add in the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, dried chilis, pepper corns and fenugreek leaves. Mix well and cook until the chilies change color. About Half a minute
- Add in the kashmiri chili powder or paprika, ground coriander and cayenne if using then mix well and then immediately add in the chopped tomato and the cooked dal(lentils along with the water).
- Mix well. Taste and adjust salt and flavor and once the dal comes to a boil, switch off the heat.
- Garnish with cilantro and lemon or lime juice and serve over rice or with flatbread.
- for this recipe I use red lentils (masoor dal) – they cook rather quickly. If you are using another type, adjust cooking times. Toor dal (split pigeon pea), moong dal (split green mung) or other lentils work as well or even a combination of lentils. Cook until tender to preference
- the lentils are cooked with ginger, tomato, chili, fenugreek leaves and turmeric
- For the tempering, we fry the following whole spices in vegan butter: cumin, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, chili, peppercorn
- we finish the tadka with ground spices (kashmiri chili powder, coriander and cayenne or indian chili powder
- tomato adds some acidity , texture and color to the lentils
- I finish all the dal with cilantro and lemon juice for garnish
- Endlessly versatile, daals can be as thin as soup, or as thick as porridge so add as much water/broth as you want.
- Dal will take on just about any spice you throw at them so feel free to experiment with the amounts
- This dal tastes amazing with plain rice, jeera rice or any type of rice like pulao or even fried rice. You can also serve this dal with different types of roti, naan and parathas.
How to make Dhaba Style Butter Dal
Cook the dal: add all of the ingredients under dal in a saucepan and mix well.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Then partially cover after bringing to a boil then cook until the dal is tender to preference, 13-15 minutes
Alternatively, pressure cook in an instant pot for 3 mins for red lentils, 6 mins for moong dal , 10 mins for toor dal.
Make the tempering: add butter to a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute until the seeds change color and get very fragrant.
Then add in the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon sticks, dried chilis, peppercorns, and fenugreek leaves. Mix well and cook until the chilis change color. Half a minute
Add in the Kashmiri chili powder or paprika and ground coriander and cayenne if using then mix well and then immediately add in the chopped tomato and then add the cooked dal immediately as well.
Mix well. Taste and adjust salt and flavor and once the dal comes to a boil, switch off the heat.
Garnish with cilantro and lemon or lime juice and serve over rice or with flatbread.
Which lentils shall I use for daal?
I am using masoor dal/ red lentils for this dal recipe here but you can use any other lentils such as moong dal, toor dal or urad dal. Moong dal will take about 20 mins to cook and toor dal will take 30 mins on stovetop and 6 mins and 10 mins in pressure cooker respectively
What to serve with this Butter dal
Store cooked dal in the fridge for upto 3 days. If I plan to make ahead, i cook the lentils and store and make the tempering just before serving.