Awadhi Dal | Lucknowi Dal

Dal is the simplest of recipes that is staple at every Indian household. As it goes, the simplest dishes tastes the best. Dal is no different.IMG_7045Dal or Pappu or parupu, whatever the name, when pared with hot rotis or rice with ghee on top takes me back to my childhood days. I have been fed simple parupu saadam with lots of ghee which I used to enjoy very much. Now I make that for my kids and usually make a bit extra for myself. Shhhh…. 😉


When we moved to the Bhopal we were introduced to a new kind of dal/parupu preparation. The dal variety that was made in our house before did not use any onion or garlic but now we would try making the dal with onion and garlic ( very mild) and pared it with rotis which had its own taste. Soon we had a new member to our dal variety. Then the same method was used with whole and split dals with some garam masala to make dal.


Few days back I saw a post about ‘Awadhi Dal’ by Polka Puffs in one of the food groups and was interested in knowing what is different about this dal from Lucknow. It turns out that the use of slightly different ingredients make it taste very different from the regular dals.

Awadhi dal is made of Toor dal and by adding milk and saffron and finished by adding a ghee tadka of jeera, chillis. Onion is optional. I made my version of the dal with a slight variation, by adding Almond milk which makes this a Vegan dish and by adding my garlic in the tadka rather while coking the dal itself for slightly enhanced gralic flavor!


To make this first cook toor dal with the whole garam masala in pressure cooker for about 3 whistles or IP for 9 to 10 mins in manual pressure mode. Then when it cools down add the almond milk and the saffron infused milk to the dal and let is cook for quick couple of minutes. Now finish it by adding tadka and garnishing with fresh coriander

Awadhi Dal | Lucknowi Dal

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Toor dal – 1.5 cups
Water – 3-4 cups
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Cloves – 5
Bay leaf/tej patta – 1 big or 2 small
Green Chilis – 2 crushed
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Almond milk  – 1 cup
Saffron  – few stands soaked in warm almond milk

For Tempering:
Oil for vegan version – 2 tsp
Jeera – 2 tsp
Red chillis  – 1 -2 ( optiona)


  1. Cook the dal in Cooker for up to 2 whistles or in InstaPot in manual mode for about 9 -10 minutes.
  2. Once the dal is done and it cools down  open the cooker. Now with a the back of a ladle mash the dal sightly to break it down, if its already not mushed.
  3. Now add the saffron milk to the dal and let it boil for 2 mins.
  4. Then add in the remaining milk to the mix. and cook in low flame till you get your tempering/tadka ready.
  5. In a separate pan add the oil and let it heat. Now add in the jeera to splatter and then the crushed garlic and the hing.
  6. Lastly add the red chili and add the tempering to the dal. Turn off the heat and garnish it with coriander leaves.

This dal unlike Dal Tadka or  other dals dies not include onion and tomato but the whole spices and the aroma of saffron infused milk simply elevates the flavor profile of this dish. Since its has not heavy masala and relatively simple flavors it pairs well with Parathas or spicy dishes like biryani etc…

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