Skip to main content

Punjabi-Style Sookhi Urad Dal Recipe

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Sookhi urad dal

Sookhi urad dal

Urad dal is a popular North Indian dal (lentil) dish. It is prepared using skinned and split whole black beans that are called mah ki dal (incidentally, once these black beans are skinned and split, they are white in colour). The word sookhi means dry, and so sookhi urad dal refers to a dry lentil dish that makes a delicious stuffing for parathas. In North Indian homes, leftover dal is often used to prepare stuffed parathas.

Do try this recipe and share your experience.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour

1 hour 15 min

3-4 servings


To boil the dal:

  • 1 cup urad dal (split and skinned black gram), soaked in water for 4 hours and then drained
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 cups water

To make the tadka (tempering):

  • 2 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter) or oil
  • 1/4 tsp heeng (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, julienned
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 2 dry red chillies, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped small
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp deghi red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)

To cook the dal:

  • 1-2 tbsp hara dhania (cilantro), chopped
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp hara dhania (cilantro), for garnish


  1. Prepare the dal: Fill a kadahi (wok) with water and place over full heat. Add in the soaked urad dal and turmeric powder. Stir well and let the water come to a boil.
  2. Stir the dal and reduce the heat to low. Cook the dal until it is 90% cooked and keep stirring and checking the dal at intervals. Our dal took 30 minutes to get to this stage.
  3. Transfer the dal to a colander to strain out the water. When the water has stopped dripping from the colander, transfer the dal to a bowl and keep it aside.
  4. Prepare the tadka (tempering): Keep a pan on low heat and add in the desi ghee. Let it melt, then add the heeng and stir for a few seconds.
  5. Add in the jeera and let it crackle. Raise the heat to low-medium and add in the chopped onion. Saute for 1 minute.
  6. Add the chopped garlic cloves and julienned ginger for 1-2 minutes until these become aromatic.
  7. Add the chopped green and dry red chillies and the chopped tomato. Stir-cook until the tomato becomes slightly soft.
  8. Lower the heat to low and add in the dry spices: salt, deghi red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasuri methi. Stir-mix for about 15 seconds.
  9. Cook the dal: After 15 seconds add in the boiled dal and mix well. Add the hara dhania and 1/4 cup water. Mix well and cover with a lid. Let cook until the dal is cooked soft. Our dal took 5 minutes to cook and we added another 1/4 cup of water to it and kept checking the dal a few times in between. Keep the heat on a low medium. The cooked dal should be moist yet with no sign of any remaining water in it.
  10. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add in a little cilantro, mix well and then transfer to a serving dish.
  11. Serve the dal with roti or paratha. You can also make stuffed dal parathas with any leftover dal.

Sookhi Urad Dal Recipe

© 2021 Rajan Singh Jolly