Lucknow's Sultani Dal - Try This Toor Dal Recipe For A Slice Of Mughlai Royalty

Sultani dal is a popular toor dal recipe from Lucknow that reflects the traditional Mughlai flavours, which are rich, fragrant and creamy.

Neha Grover  |  Updated: December 30, 2020 12:21 IST

Lucknow's Sultani Dal - Try This Toor Dal Recipe For A Slice Of Mughlai Royalty
  • Sultani dal, made with toor dal, is a Lucknowi specialty.
  • It is rich, creamy, fragrant and great in taste.
  • Here's an easy recipe to make it at home.

'The city of Nawabs' is deep-rooted in its royal culture that has bestowed us with some opulent foods. Many of these foods also went on to make their mark far and wide, across borders. A visit to Lucknow is incomplete without tasting the local cuisine. The robust flavours, rich aroma and distinct style of cooking - a myriad of factors come together to make Lucknowi cuisine a class apart. Even a simple dish, as basic as dal, develops a mystery around it in Lucknow and sometimes, you can't really put a finger on what made it so distinct.

Sultani dal is one such popular dal from Lucknow that is nothing like other dals you are used to having in other parts of the country. This dal reflects the traditional Mughlai flavours that are rich, fragrant and creamy. This dal is made with arhar dal (or toor dal), which is cooked in a bed of milk, cream and yogurt and topped with a tempering of onion and chillies.

(Also Read: 11 Best Lakhnawi Recipes You Must Try)

toor dal

Arhar dal is popularly made in Uttar Pradesh. Image Credit: iStock


Lucknow-Special Sultani Dal Recipe:

(Serving - 3-4)

1 cup toor dal
2 cups milk
Half cup cream
2 tbsp curd
Saffron, few strands
Half tsp cumin seeds
Half tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger, crushed
1 tsp garlic, grated
2 green chillies
2 whole red chillies
2 onions, chopped
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder to taste
Ghee for tempering
Mint leaves and coriander leaves for garnishing


Step 1 - Wash and soak the dal in water for around half an hour. Also, soak the saffron strands in some milk.

Step 2 - Pressure cook the dal along with salt and turmeric powder.

Step 3 - Add milk, cream and curd, and whisk everything together. You can also mash the dal with the back of a ladle. Add saffron milk and mix well.

Step 4 - Cook the mashed dal for about 5 minutes without closing the lid.

Step 5 - Now, make the tempering for the dal. Heat ghee in a pan. Fry cumin seeds and whole red chillies. Saute garlic, ginger, green chillies and onions. Season with red chilli powder and salt if needed. Remember, we have already added salt in dal.

Step 6 - Pour the tempering over cooked dal and serve hot with a garnishing of mint leaves or coriander leaves, or both.

Experience the magnificent flavours of Lucknow's Mughlai flavours in this Sultani dal.


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About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.

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