Amritsari Dal Recipe

Amritsari Dal

Amritsari Dal

Amritsari Dal also known as ‘Langar Wali Dal’ or Maa Chole ki Dal is a bowl of soul satisfying comforting dal prepared with whole black gram (urad dal) and split black chickpea (chana dal) tempered with garlic, onion and tomatoes.

Amritsari Dal or Langar wali Dal gets its name as it is served at community meals (called langar) in Gurudwaras. Gurudwaras – place of worship for the Sikh community. Langar is a community kitchen and, as part of it, free vegetarian food is served in the kitchens of a Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) every day all over the world. Langar is an important part of worship for Sikhs.

Langars are prepared and served by volunteers of the community and the food is simply delicious! Amritsari dal is a popular recipe on the langar menu hence, giving it the name Langar wali Dal – meaning, Langar style dal.

I love the simplicity of this dal and it always transports me to the handful of langars I have had the privilege to eat at. My mother used to make langar wali dal especially during the Delhi winters and quite magically she was able to replicate the flavourful gurudwara taste. It must be something to do with how much love and devotion goes in cooking!

Other recipes you might like to try are Dal Makhani, Moong Dal Palak, Moong Dal Chilla, Rajmah and Sindhi Dal Pakwan to name a few.


For Boiling Dal
1 cup black gram (urad dal)
½ cup split yellow peas (chana dal)
4 cups water
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger
½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-2 finely chopped green chillies (optional)
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 bayleaf

For Tempering
1 teaspoon ghee/oil
1/6 teaspoon asafoetida
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger
½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 finely chopped green chilli (optional)
1 finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped tomato
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon garam masala



Wash and soak urad dal and chana dal in a bowl for 5-6 hours or even overnight.


In a pressure cooker add the soaked dal along with its water, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger, garlic, onion and bayleaf. Pressure cook the dal. Once the first whistle comes, lower the heat and cook for 20-25 minutes to soften and cook the dal.
Once done, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. Check if the dal is soft and slightly mushy. If you feel the dal is not cooked, you can give it couple of more whistles.


Heat oil in a pan and add the asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds begin to splutter add the garlic, ginger, green chilli and onions. Sauté the onions on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.


Add the tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes turn mushy. Add the red chilli powder, garam masala, mango powder and mix. Add the tempering to the cooked dal. Lightly mash the dal and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Adjust the consistency of the dal as needed. The dal shouldn’t be too thick or runny and should have a slightly creamy consistency.
Add coriander leaves just before serving.

Tips & Variations

  1. You can use split black urad dal, also known as dhuli urad chilka. I like using whole black urad as it gives perfect consistency.
  2. Number of whistles needed to cook the dal depends on quality of lentils as well as the size of the pressure cooker. Hence, check the dal once boiled and if needed give couple of more whistles.
  3. You can use split black urad as well if you wish. Some people call whole urad lentils as ‘maah ki dal’ and chana dal as ‘chole ki dal’. That is why this dal is also called ‘maa choleyian di dal’ in Punjabi community.
  4. Like most dal, this dal will thicken too as it cools down. When you are simmering the dal, keep in mind to not make it too thick.
  5. A lot of the flavour comes from the tadka (tempering) so be sure to cook it right. Make sure the onions are fried till golden brown and the tomatoes are cooked until fully softened.