Top 20 Dals In Indian Cuisine


Dal is one of the staple food throughout India. It is prepared in almost every household. Be it any season, dal is always present in the meals. Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu, Gujarat or West Bengal, dal constitutes the diet of every Indian. Although simple, the presence of dal enhances the specialty of every meal. If you want a complete meal, then dal has to be there. Moong, Masoor, Tuvar, Chana, and Urad there are varieties of dals. And they are prepared in great varieties throughout India. Be it Dal fry of north India or Katachi amti of Maharashtra, Gujarati dal, or South Indian Sambar, India cooks dal in great varities. Every state has its way of enjoying this wholesome, flavorful dish. Below are given some of the incredible delicious dal dishes.

1.Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is a spicy lentil dish that originated in New Delhi. It is the brainchild of two chefs, Kundan lal jaggi and Kundan lal Gujral. It is made of Urad dal and Rajma. It is a unique blend of pulses and exotic spices. The cream is used in this dish for cooking and as garnish. This spicy lentil dish is popular in North India.


2.Dal Fry

Dal fry, too is a popular dish in North India. It comprises Tuvar dal, onions, tomatoes, spices, etc. This can be served both with rice and chapatis. This dal is flavorful, mildly spiced, and creamy in texture.


3.Maa Ki Dal

Maa ki daal or kaali dal, is a dish made up of kali urad dal known as ‘Mah ki dal’ in Punjabi. It is a flavorful dal that can either be spicy or not that spicy. It is lighter if compared to other North Indian dal dishes. No extra cream, ghee, or butter is added to this dish.


4.Palak Tuvar Dal

Palak tuvar dal is a celebrated dish in Rajasthan. It is simple yet tasty. It is made with spinach and tuvar dal. It has excellent nutrients in it and is served hot.


5.Panchmel Dal

It is a Rajasthani dish which is also occasionally called Panchratan dal. The word ‘Panch’ means five. Hence it is a dish of five dals cooked together. The dals constitute Chana, Urad, Moong, Tuvar, and Moth dals. It is a very nutritious and delicious dish. It is cooked without onion and garlic.


6.Langarwali Dal

As the name suggests, it is served in langar or community kitchen of Gurudwaras. It is cooked with black urad dal and chana dal. Very few spices are used to prepare Langarwali dal. It is a genuinely appetizing dish and is enjoyed with ‘Rotis.’


7.Navratan Dal

Navratan dal is made up of nine kinds of dals or pulses. It is a popular vegetarian dish in North India. The name comes from ‘nav’, meaning nine and ‘ratan’, meaning gem. It is a power-packed food with nine types of pulses in it.



Red Kidney beans are also recognized as ‘Rajma’ in Hindi and Punjabi. It is prepared lightly spicy and has a creamy texture to it. It can be served with chapatis, parathas, and rice. But, it is best known for ‘Rajma chawal’, which is Rajma served with rice. ‘Rajma Chawal’ is a duo famous all over states like Punjab, Haryana, U.P, etc.


9.Chana Masala

It is originated in North India and famous throughout the country. In this dish, white chickpeas are cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices. Present in both spicy and lightly spiced versions, chana masala is an all-time favorite.



Khichdi is a wholesome meal in itself. Other than a few side dishes, it needs nothing else khichdi can be enjoyed on its own. This is one of the fundamental dishes cooked all over India. Each state has adopted Khichdi in its way. The main ingredient in it is rice and dal.


11.Gujarati Dal

As the name suggests, Gujarati dal is a specialty of Gujarat. It is mainly made with tuvar dal. It has a sweet and sour taste to it. During festivals, peanuts and yam are added to it to form a festive variant. It is a simple and healthy dish cooked in Gujarati households almost every day.


12.Katachi Amti

Katachi Amti is a lentil-based dish from Maharashtra. In this dish, chana dal stock is strained and cooked. Katachi Amti is a specialty in Maharashtra. It is a simple dal that can be enjoyed with rice and chapatis.


13.Sindhi Tidli Dal

Sindhi Tidli Dal is a rich flavorful dish. It is a blend of three dals chana, urad, and green chhilka dal. It is tempered with tadka made of ghee, hing, garlic, and cumin seeds.


14.Dal Tarka

It is a creation of Punjabi Dhaba walas in West Bengal. It is a variation of ‘Maa Ki Dal’ recipe. Generally, it is made with Green chhilka moong dal. It is a spicy dish and, as the name suggests, is based on tempering.



Sambar is a staple for all South Indian households. It is a lentil dish that is prepared with pulses, vegetables, and tamarind. The taste of this dish is further enhanced with a unique blend of spices called the ‘sambar masala.’ It is served with idlis, dosas, rice, etc.


16.Moong Dal Rasam

It is very popular in the South Indian Kitchen. Green gram lentils or green moong dal are used to make it. Along with green moong, fresh herbs, and tampering is added to make this dal. It is a healthy recipe and light on the stomach.


17.Tomato Pappu

It means dal made with tomato. This dal comes from Andhra cuisine and has a tang to taste. Made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, and fragrant herbs this dal is not that spicy. It constitutes an excellent side dish with rice.


18.Bhaja Moog-er Dal

Bhaja means toasted as well as deep fried in Bengali. In this case, the dals are toasted in a kadai before cooking. It is a delicious dal that can be a little heavy and rich. Sometimes veggies are added to this dish to enhance the taste. It is very popular in Bengal cuisine.


19.Chholar Dal

Chholar dal means Chana dal in Hindi. It is a chana dal preparation made in Bengali style. It is a much-celebrated dish in Bengali cuisine. It is a unique blend of chana dal and spices that tastes heavenly. This dish is specially made on occasion. It is perfectly paired with Luchi to contribute to a grand feast.


20.Masoor Dal Bengali Style

This lentil dish is a staple in all Bengali households. It is cooked with masoor dal and onions with a light tempering. It is mainly served as a side dish to rice. It is very light on the stomach.