Cookbook:Khatti Dal

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | South Asian cuisines

This is a variety of dal, the common staple food of South Asia made with dal forming a stew or thick soup. Dal is the name for split legumes in many South Asian languages (see dal article). Khatti translates as sour from Hindi, and comes from the use of tamarind, a very sour fruit on its own. Serve with any variety of roti (a round flat bread) or over rice and with a vegetable preparation on the side and an achar (pickle) or chutney as condiments. The roti is used to scoop up the dal and grab pieces of the vegetable.



  1. Wash toor daal and boil it about 20 minutes until soft then smash it.
  2. In a kadai (rounded all purpose cooking bowl/frying pan), heat the oil till hot. Add curry leaves, mustard seeds and jeera seeds. Fry for a minute. They will pop at first, so a cover will help to avoid a mess.
  3. Add onion and fry till slightly brown.
  4. Add ginger and garlic paste. Fry for a minute. Then add the tomatoes (paste or diced). Cook it till the oil separates.
  5. Add tamarind pieces (not paste). Add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Cook it for 4 to 5 mins.
  6. Add the toor daal and enough water per the thickness desired.
  7. Add salt to taste and garnish with coriander leaves.
  8. Serve with a roti (flat bread) or poured over rice.