Easy Dhaba style Pakistani Daal Recipe

In the rich tapestry of Pakistani cuisine, there exists a culinary gem that holds a special place in the hearts of many: The dhaba-style Pakistani Daal recipe. This humble yet flavorful dish encapsulates the essence of traditional cooking, a hallmark of the dhaba culture prevalent across the region.

In this culinary journey, we will explore the health benefits, delve into its historical roots, and unveil a delectable recipe. So, let’s embark on a flavorful adventure and discover the soulful elegance of the Dhaba-style Pakistani Daal recipe.

Indulge in a satisfying feast by serving up a flavorful chicken pulao along with crispy air-fried potatoes and onions and cap it off with a delightful chocolate chip mug cake for dessert.

Health Benefits of Dhaba-Style Pakistani Daal

  1. Rich in Protein: Daal, the star ingredient in this dish, is a superb source of plant-based protein. It’s an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans looking to meet their protein requirements.
  2. Fiber-Rich: Daal is high in dietary fiber, aiding in digestion, promoting a feeling of fullness, and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
  3. Nutrient-Packed: Dhabba-style Pakistani Daal incorporates a variety of spices and herbs, providing essential nutrients and antioxidants. These ingredients contribute to overall well-being.
  4. Low in Fat: This dish is typically prepared with minimal oil, making it heart-healthy and suitable for those watching their fat intake.
  5. Balanced Flavor Profile: The combination of spices and herbs not only enhances the taste but also adds potential health benefits. For example, turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Historical Background of Dhaba-Style Pakistani Daal Recipe

Dhabas, small roadside eateries, have been an integral part of Pakistani culture for decades. These unassuming establishments serve hearty, authentic dishes to travelers and locals alike. Dhaba-style cooking is characterized by the use of traditional methods and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring an authentic and soul-satisfying culinary experience.

The origins of Dhaba-style Pakistani Daal can be traced back to these rustic kitchens, where skilled chefs would create simple yet soulful dishes. The recipe we’re about to explore pays homage to this cherished culinary tradition.

Dhaba-Style Pakistani Daal Recipe

Pakistani Daal Recipe


  • 1 cup split red lentils (masoor daal)
  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas (chana daal)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil


  1. Wash the lentils and split peas thoroughly under running water until the water runs clear. Drain and set them aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot or pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
  3. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent.
  4. Stir in the minced garlic, grated ginger, and green chilies. Sauté for another couple of minutes until the raw aroma disappears.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and the oil begins to separate.
  6. Incorporate the spices: turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, and salt. Stir well.
  7. Add the drained lentils and split peas to the pot. Mix them with the aromatic tomato and spice mixture.
  8. Pour in 4-5 cups of water, depending on your preferred consistency. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil.
  9. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes (or 6-7 whistles in a pressure cooker), or until the lentils are tender and the daal has thickened.
  10. Adjust salt and spice levels as needed. If the daal is too thick, you can add more hot water to reach your desired consistency.
  11. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice or naan bread.

Preparation Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

35-40 minutes

Serving Size

4-6 servings

Caloric Index

Approximately 250 calories per serving (excluding rice or naan)

What makes Dhabba-style Pakistani Daal unique?

Dhabba-style cooking emphasizes simplicity, authenticity, and the use of locally sourced ingredients, resulting in dishes that are both flavorful and soul-satisfying.

What types of lentils are typically used in this daal?

The most common lentils used are split red lentils (masoor daal) and yellow split peas (chana daal). The combination of both adds depth to the dish.

Is this Pakistani Daal recipe vegetarian and vegan-friendly?

Yes, Dhabba-style Pakistani Daal is both vegetarian and vegan, as it contains no animal products.

What are the key spices used in this recipe?

Turmeric, cumin seeds, coriander powder, and red chili powder are the key spices that contribute to the dish’s flavor profile.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in this daal?

Absolutely! You can control the heat by adjusting the quantity of green chilies and red chili powder to suit your taste.

What can I serve with Dhaba-style Pakistani Daal?

It pairs wonderfully with steamed rice, naan bread, or even roti. Some people enjoy it as a soup or with a side of pickles.

Are there regional variations of this dish in Pakistan?

Yes, you may find regional variations that incorporate local ingredients and spices. Each region adds its unique twist to the recipe.

Can I make this Pakistani Daal recipe in advance and reheat it?

Yes, Dhabba-style Pakistani Daal reheats well and often tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld.

Is this dish suitable for a special occasion or everyday meals?

It’s versatile and can be enjoyed on any occasion, from daily meals to special gatherings. Its comforting flavors make it a favorite for many.

Can I customize this Pakistani Daal recipe by adding vegetables or other ingredients?

Absolutely! You can add vegetables like spinach or fenugreek leaves to make it more nutritious. Feel free to experiment and make it your own.

In closing, the Dhabba-style Pakistani Daal recipe is not just a dish; it’s a journey through history and tradition. Its simplicity and rich flavors make it a cherished part of Pakistani cuisine. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a culinary novice, this dish invites you to savor the heartwarming essence of authentic Pakistani cooking. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure that promises to delight your taste buds and nourish your soul.

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