Plain Dal or How to make Simple Dal? or Yellow Dal

Plain Dal or Yellow Dal with steamed Rice and ghee drizzled over it is the comfort food for many and my family is no different. Whenever we are on a trip away from home, my family, especially my daughter craves for this combo – Yellow Dal with hot steamed Rice, paired with appalam or pappad or a pickle on the side.

Plain Dal

This is one of the simplest and easiest dishes that I resort to when there is no time or energy left to cook something special yet you want some comforting home food. This dal goes well when had mixed with Rice and Rasam too. I serve it either with appalams or homemade vathal or with a simple stir fried vegetable.


Tur dal – 200 gms
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida or hing – ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Water – 3 cups or as needed

To temper
Oil – 2 tsps
Crushed garlic – 6 to 7 cloves
Green chilli – 2
Curry leaves few


Prep time – 10 mins
Cook time – 15 mins
Total time – 25 mins
Serves 3-4

  1. Wash the dal twice or thrice in water until the water becomes clear.
  2. Pressure cook the dal by adding turmeric powder, hing (1/4 tsp) and 2 cups of water for 3-4 whistles. Wait for the pressure to release.
  3. While the dal is getting cooked, crush the garlic using a mortar and pestle and chop the green chillies and coriander.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Reduce the flame to low-medium and add the hing, crushed garlic along with green chillies and curry leaves. Give a quick toss.
  5. Add the cooked dal along with salt to taste. Add more water to get a pouring consistency, if required. When the dal comes to a rolling boil, dal is ready.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serve this yummy dal with hot rice. Relish this delicious dal and rice with pappad or appalam and a stir fried vegetable of your choice. I am sure that nothing can beat this homemade comforting food!!


  1. You can use a small pressure cooker to cook the dal. If using a bigger cooker, you can use a container (separator) and cook the dal while you cook the rice or other veggies.
  2. You can use red chillies in place of green chillies for the tempering.
  3. Dal should neither be too watery nor too thick. You can adjust by adding water to get the desired consistency.