Dal for Chappathi / Roti – South Indian style Dal

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Did you know South Indian style of cooking is much different to the north Indian style of cooking. Although the spices used are the same/almost similar the outcome of the dishes is different. Maybe less onions or more tomatoes or more asafoetida 😉 or less garlic and more Ghee. I think its the quantity of spices and various other ingredients incorporated at different times of the cooking process that makes it different. Don’t know! Yes I would like authentic North Indian flavors sometime. While I was in school we had a good mix of North Indian girls most of them my friends. North Indians in South India thought and behaved like South Indians. How nice! God bless their hearts! One of my dear friends Kavita, used to get Dal and Roti piping hot for lunch.It disappeared in seconds with everyone trying to get a piece of Dal and Sabji.I still talk to her about it. She says her mom slow cooks the Dal for hours. (The secret) It was toooooooo good. The whole class will testify to that. The chappatis were soft and gheey. That was more than a decade ago.

All said and done this recipe if from a South Indian home and from my Mom that I have tweaked a bit to make my own.




Serves : 4-5

Moong Dal : 3/4 cup (My cup measures 160ml)

Oil : 2 Tsp

Ghee : 1 tsp

Mustard : 1/2 tsp

Jeera/Cumin : 1/2 tsp

Curry Leaves : few

Onion : 1 Medium thinly sliced

Tomato : 1 Medium (ripe)

Ginger : 1 tsp chopped

Garlic : 2 cloves Chopped

Green Chilli : 1 Large (slit)

Turmeric : 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste


Soak the Moong Dal for 30-45 minutes

Pressure cook the Dal for about 2 whistles on medium. Set aside

Heat another pan to temper the Dal.

Oil, ghee and mustard seeds. Wait for it to splutter

Add Cumin. Wait for it to crackle

Now add the onions and ginger garlic, green chilli

Saute the onions till they turn translucent.

Add the coriander leaves

Now add the chopped tomato, turmeric. Cook till it turns soft

Now, add the Dal 

Add in about 150 ml water to cook the Dal.

The consistency should be a bit watery. Dal will thicken up a bit after the cooking process.

Remove from heat and serve.



The Dal is not mushy in this recipe. I cooked the Dal in a small steel vessel/pot inside a pressure cooker with water.

Local Picks :

Dal : Katoomba brand (I prefer Pattu brand though) from the Indian store Findon







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