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Ma Ki Dal, a creamy, comforting dal made by moms all over India. https://holycowvegan.net
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5 from 3 votes

Maa ki Dal

Maa ki Dal literally translates to “Mom’s Dal” -- now didn’t you feel your belly grow all warm and mushy at the sound of that? Rich and soothing, this is exactly the sort of food to put a spring in your step on the rainiest, dreariest, most depressing days.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dal
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 62kcal


  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste
  • 1 tsp coconut or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cayenne or paprika for less heat
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ lemon
  • Coriander for garnish
  • 12 almonds soaked for 30 minutes then blended into a very smooth paste with ½ cup water


  • Cook the urad dal with the bay leaf, turmeric and 1 tsp grated ginger until the dal is really tender. This is best done in a pressure cooker. If you don't have one, soak the dal for at least two hours, then place in a large saucepan with the other ingredients and water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are really soft and mash easily.
  • Heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the minced onions.
  • Add a pinch of salt and saute the onions until they are just beginning to turn color.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes. Then add the coriander powder, cayenne or paprika, and garam masala powder.
  • Stir well to mix, then add the cooked dal and mix really well. You can discard the bay leaf at this time.
  • Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. If the dal is really thick, add water. Let the dal cook for five minutes for flavors to merge.
  • Add the almond paste and chopped coriander. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add salt to taste. Stir well and turn off heat.
  • Serve hot with rice, a subzi, and phulkas.


Calories: 62kcal | Protein: 2.7g | Fiber: 2.5g