Instant INDIAN DAL Mix

I think this will be one of my lengthiest posts as this is about Indian dal. In India we have a array of dal recipes each unique to its region or community. Every house has its own recipe.

Indian Dal is appreciated by everyone  world wide . Due to a largely vegetarian diet, we Indians tend to use a variety of split lentils and beans (all go by the name Dal).
So we have Green gram dal or mung dal, Chick pea dal/ chana dal, Split pigeon pea/ arhar/ tur dal etc.

Dals and pulses are energy giving food. They are a good substitute to meat as they are rich in proteins, vitamin B, phosphorous and iron. They are not easily digested if they are not cooked properly (i.e., till soft). Cooking them on stove takes long hours so pressure cooking is preferred. Preparing your own instant dal mix is therefore sensible as you won't be requiring a pressure cooker. In addition it eliminates soaking,cooking and clean-up time too.

With a slight variation in the tempering ingredients you can prepare dals from any region of India. By sneaking  in veggies like gourds, leafy vegetables you can increase its flavor by leaps and bounds.

First we will be making the BASIC INSTANT INDIAN DAL MIX. It makes about 500g.

 What you need is -

300 ml split pigeon peas (tur dal or arhar dal)
150 ml split mung beans(yellow mung dal)
100 ml split chick pea(chana dal)
2 tbsp  rice grains(any variety)
1 1/2tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
6 tsp salt

You can interchange the amount of dal. Among these dal -Mung dal is easiest to digest. Some people find Chickpea (chana) dal hard to digest - it can be replaced  with equal amount other dal.
 you can wash the dal and dry it out on a clean towel before roasting.

1. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet or sauce pan. Put in all the split beans (dal) and rice.

2. Dry roast on a low heat for 5 mins, i.e., till you get a pleasant aroma of roasted dal). Switch off the heat and stir in turmeric, asafoetida, ginger powder and salt. Cool completely.

3. Grind them in parts in a coffee grinder to get a fine powder.

4. Sieve the mix and re grind the bigger pieces. Dal is tastier if the powder is fine.
    Above ingredients are sufficient to make and Ambat. These need no tempering.

5. Now you have to temper the dal if you want to prepare various other Indian dals such as
  •    Masala dal
  •    Variety of dal with veggies like Andhra Pappu, Ambat, Amti, Dal Hariyali
  I will keep posting recipes of all these dal recipes and will update its link here.

6. Now with 4 labelled instant dal mix jars (about 125g each) in your cupboard you are ready to cook any Indian dal.

Each of these dal has an unique taste because of the different tempering used in the instant mix. So to make things simple divide this plain instant mix (got from step-4) into 4 equal parts and temper them as shown here below.

click the picture to have a good look at all the tempering ingredients you can use


    Instant dal mix -1

    Keep first portion plain. This can be used to make and Ambat.

    Store this in an dry- air tight- labelled container. 

    Instant dal mix -2

    Second portion  is tempered to make Tomato Daal/ Daali Thoay, Instant Bisibele Bhath, Saraswat style Radish  and Amti

    For tempering-
    1 tbsp oil
    1 tsp mustard seeds
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    15 curryleaves
    5 dry red chillies


    Heat oil in a small saucepan put in mustard,cumin and when it starts jumping switch off the heat and immediately add curry leaves and red chillies. Pour this tempering over the second part and mix well. Let it cool completely. Store this in an dry-air tight-labelled container.

    Instant dal mix - 3

    Third portion is tempered to make Gujarati dal (sweet and sour dal) and some spicy stir-fry with gourds (Bhakar bhaji). You can also make  Dal Dhokli (wheat dhoklis ... these are like Indian wheat pasta in dal) for a filling one dish meal.

    For tempering-
    1 tbsp oil
    1 tsp mustard
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1" cinnamon broken into 4 pieces
    4 cloves
    1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

    Other things that go into this are-
    • 2 tsp jaggery (broken into small pieces) or brown(demerara) sugar
    • 1/2 tsp tamarind (separated into small pieces for even distribution in the mix)or 3 Kokum pieces or 1 dried prune(if you don't find these don't worry, add lemon juice or tomatoes later)
    • 2 dry dates broken into pieces and the seeds discarded (optional)
    whole and chopped dry dates

    Heat oil in a small saucepan put in mustard, cumin and when it starts jumping put cinnamon, cloves and fenugreek. 
    After few secs, switch off the heat and while it is still hot add 2 tsp chilli powder and 2 tsp coriander-cumin powder (optional) and give it a quick stir. When cool, mix in jaggery, tamarind(kokum), nuts and dry dates. Mix well. Pour this tempering over the third part and mix well. 
    Let it cool completely. 
    Store this in an dry-air tight-labelled container.
    Note- I have used Kokum pieces in the above mix. Each time you prepare the dal make sure to use 1 piece of Kokum,2-3 pieces of dried dates and 1 red chilli along with the mix.
    Instant dal mix -4

    The last portion is tempered to make Dal Tadka, Dal Fry, Hariyali Dal, Dal Palak (spinach), Dal Methi (fenugreek leaves).

    For tempering-
    1 tbsp oil
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1"piece cinnamon( broken into 4 pieces)
    4 cloves
    1 bay leaf (broken into pieces)
    4 dried red chillies

    Other than these you will require-
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp ginger powder (it is already added in the basic mixture, add more if you like its taste )
    1 tsp garam masala powder
    1 tsp chilli powder

    Heat oil in a small saucepan put in cumin and when it starts jumping, put cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and red chillies. Switch off the heat and mix in the given powders.
    Pour this tempering over the fourth part of the instant mix and mix well . 
    Let it cool completely.
    Store this in an dry-air tight-labelled container.


    When you put curryleaves or green chillies in hot oil, the oil tends to splatter all over the stove and the backsplash making it greasy. In order to prevent this what I do is --After heating oil in the sauce pan for tempering I put the mustard,cumin and when it starts to pop I carry this pan near the kitchen sink and then put in green chillis and curry leaves. Sink area is easier to clean than the stove - isn't it?

    New! Print out all these 4 recipe labels. You can stick them on to the instant dal and kadhi mix jars. Also check for other recipe labels here...

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    1. wow.. thats an instant dal mix. i can make it and send it to my hubby nxt time wen he is travelling..

    2. U can also post instant gojju aval mix, dosa mix, upma mix, rava idly mix etc to ur blog.Just a suggestion. these r some of the instant 1 s i pack wen my hubby is onsite travelling

    3. Thank you Smitha.It was nice of you to give me feedback.Few of my other blog readers also want these recipes.I am posting Instant Rava idly mix today.I will post others one by one in few weeks time.

    4. Want to try this mix as it looks simple and easy to make.

    5. Hi - this is great idea. In order to prepare the daal for eating, do you suggest just adding hot water to the mix?

    6. Replies
      1. Yes you can wash the dal and dry it out on a clean towel before roasting.


      1. I haven't tried it out that way. It's better to cook for 5 mins to make the dal thick and blend into a uniform mixture.


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