Toor Dal with onion and garlic

A recipe from HANAH employee Meghna Agarwal's grandma that always comforts her with warmth and love. 


  • 2 cups split pigeon pea soaked for at least 2 hours (but overnight is better)
  • 2-3 chopped medium tomatoes
  • 2 small chopped onions
  • 3 tablespoons HANAH Vechur Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 dried whole chilies broken into pieces
  • 2 inch piece dried tamarind
  • 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A pinch of heeng (Asfoetida)
  • Salt for boiling
  • Cilantro to garnish


  1. Soak the lentils in water for at least 2 hours. Drain.
  2. Take a heavy pot and add the lentils with 6 cups water.
  3. Add salt, turmeric and tamarind. Bring all to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and cook covered for 45 - 60 minutes (you can cook it in a pressure cooker as well).
  5. Once it's soft and mushy, lower the burner to simmer.
  6. Heat ghee in a small pan.
  7. Once very hot add the cumin, heeng and dry chilies. Be careful as it may splatter.
  8. Add chopped garlic. Let it change color to red and add the onions.
  9. Cook the onions until light brown.
  10. Add tomatoes.
  11. When the tomatoes are soft, add the mixture to the lentils.
  12. Serve hot! Garnish with cilantro. 

Recipe by Meghna Agarwal, HANAH employee, Ayurvedic chef and mother



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