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Authentic Punjabi Maa Chole ki Dal (Mixed Lentil Curry Recipe)

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Punjabi Maa Chole ki Dal

Punjabi Maa Chole ki Dal

Maa chole ki dal, or mixed lentil curry, is prepared with a combination of two different types of dal, or lentils: urad dal (split black gram) and chana dal (split Bengal gram). Traditionally, the urad dal used in this recipe is split with the seed coat on, but for this particular recipe we are going to use split and skinned urad dal. Although this results in a slightly different flavour and texture than the traditional style, the result is still delicious and satisfying.

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

3-4 servings

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For the dal:

  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split and skinned black gram), soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup chana dal (split and skinned brown chickpeas), soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For the tadka (tempering):

  • 2-3 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 fresh whole red chillies or dry red chillies if you do not have fresh ones
  • 1/4 tsp heeng (asafoetida powder)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1-2 tsp chopped hara dhania (cilantro)


  1. Drain out the water from the soaked dals. Place the drained dals in a pressure cooker. Add the water, salt and turmeric powder and close the cooker. Keep the heat on high. As soon as the pressure sound becomes audible, turn off the heat.
  2. Open the cooker when the pressure is released. The dal should be almost soft.
  3. On another burner prepare the tadka (tempering). In a kadahi (wok), add the desi ghee and let it melt. Add the heeng and chopped onion and saute until it turns light pink, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the grated ginger and chopped garlic. Saute until all the ingredients turn light brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, and kitchen king masala. Mix well. Transfer 1 tbsp of the tadka to a bowl and set aside (to be used for garnishing the dal later).
  6. Crush the kasuri methi in your palms and add it to the tadka. Add the tadka to the boiled dal. Mix well, add the whole red chillies and cilantro and cook the dal for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
  7. Transfer the dal to a serving bowl, garnish with the reserved tadka and a little cilantro and serve with roti or paratha.

Authentic Punjabi Maa Chole ki Dal (Mixed Lentil Curry Recipe)

© 2020 Rajan Singh Jolly

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