Peppery Dal or Pepper Dal Fry

Dal with steamed rice is a comfort food any time. Peppery dal is a twist to the usual dal fry that we prepare. It is an easy to make dish and very quick to whip up. With the flavors of freshly crushed pepper and cumin, it makes a delectable combo with hot steaming rice or chapathis.

Peppery Dal

Whenever I am bored of the sambars or dals and want something special yet simple to relish, I resort to this dal preparation. Mashed dal, sauted onions and tomato with coarsely powdered pepper and jeera makes this recipe very tasty. Addition of pepper-jeera takes this dal to a new level. Peppery dal is full of flavors that burst in the mouth along with soft chapathis or rice. With steamed rice and a pappad or any vegetable of your choice, this would make a yummy and fulfilling lunch or dinner.


Tur dal – 100 gms or ½ cup
Onion – 1 small
Tomato – 1 small
Pepper – ½ tbsp
Jeera or cumin seeds – ½ tbsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Hing – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste

To temper
Oil – 1 ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – ¾ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp
Hing – one big pinch or ¼ tsp
Red chilli – 1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig


Preparation time – 15 mins
Cooking time – 10 mins
Total time – 20 -25 mins
Serves 4 people

  1. Wash the dal well. Add turmeric, hing, and 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Mash the dal and set it aside.
  2. Chop onion and tomato. Coarsely powder the pepper and jeera using a mortar and pestle or a mixer jar.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. Let the mustard crackle. Add the urad dal. Let the dal turn brown.
  4. Add the hing, red chilli, onions and curry leaves. Saute till onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the tomato. Once the tomatoes turn mushy, add the mashed dal and salt to taste.
  6. Add water, if required to get the desired dal consistency. Let everything combine and come to a rolling boil. Now add the coarsely crushed pepper-jeera powder to the dal and switch off the flame.
  7. Serve the warm dal with hot steamed rice or chapathis.

We enjoyed the peppery dal with ghee drizzled over steamed rice, appalam and mango pickle.

Peppery Dal


  1. You can use moong dal too instead of tur dal.
  2. If you like your dal a little tangy, squeeze half a lemon just before serving.