Dal Kabila – Dairy-Free!

Prep Time
2 hours
Cook Time
30 minutes
2 servings

Punjab is known for the variety of lentils that’s cooked up there in many different ways. Usually loaded with ghee and butter.

Many years ago I had the good fortune to learn how to make Dal Kabila from a chef hailing from Punjab, working with the ITC group of hotels. The unique flavours and texture of the dish is still fresh in my memory. Freshly hand pounded spices, fresh coriander leaves and simmered in tomato puree will make this a go to dish for you. It’s the herbs and the fresh ingredients that actually impart the flavours to a dish and not the ghee or butter as is wrongly assumed.

  • White urad dal (whole or split): 1/3 cup
  • Tomatoes: 3 large
  • Garlic: 8 cloves
  • Ginger: 1 tbsp(finely chopped)
  • Green chilli: 1 no
  • Garam Masala: ¼ tsp
  • Kasuri Methi: 1 tsp
  • Lime Juice: 2 tsp
  • Rock salt: to taste
  • Coriander Leaves: ½ cup(chopped)
  • Ginger Juliennes: for garnish
  • Cold-pressed oil: 1 tsp (optional)

For Masala

  • Coriander Powder: 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Red chillies: 3 nos
  • Soak dal in water for around 2 hrs.
  • Dry roast the ingredients for masala, cool and pound in a mortar and pestle.
  • Remove the eye of the tomato and steam for 4-5 mintues.

  • Cool and peel the blanched tomatoes and chop them.
  • Peel and crush garlic and chop finely.
  • Boil the soaked dal with salt until it is soft.
  • Heat a pan and add crushed chopped garlic and sauté for a few minutes. You may add very little cold-pressed oil to avoid burning.
  • Add pounded spice mix and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and sauté. Cover and cook to bring it to a boil.
  • Add chopped ginger, half the chopped coriander and chopped ginger and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add boiled dal and mix well. Reduce the flame, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from stove and rest for a while.
  • Toast kasuri methi on a hot tawa. When cool crush it and sprinkle on the dal and mix well.
  • Add lime juice and garam masala.
  • Serve with your favorite bread garnished with ginger juliennes.

Wellcure Tip:

  • Removing the seeds of green chillies with reduce the heat of the chili.
  • The dal tastes best if allowed to rest for a couple of hours before serving.

Eating Guide:

  • Food group: Lentils.
  • Lentils can be easily combined with other food groups (except dairy and fruits).
  • The whole versions of our standard daals are much better versions than the split versions - and they act as bodybuilders, so are great for growing toddlers.
  • Cooking them oil free ensures, there is lower digestive load on our bodies to eliminate the harmful effects of refined oil.

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