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Kerala Style Dal Fry – Parippu Thalichathu

Kerala Style Dal Fry – Parippu Thalichathu

Have you heard people saying, “it’s complicated”? Can I share a secret with you? Sometimes when I hear people say it, I wonder whether they make it up. Ok, before you start raising your eyebrows, let me explain.


  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1 medium-big, sliced
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Tomato – 1 medium, chopped
  • Coconut – ⅓ cup
  • Fennel seeds (perumjeerakam)- a pinch
  • Chopped garlic – ½-1 tsp
  • Small onion – 3, sliced
  • Green chilli – 3-4, slit lengthwise
  • Mustard – ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil – I used coconut oil


  • Wash toor dal and pressure cook it with 3 cups water, sliced onion and turmeric powder, until dal becomes soft (refer notes).
  • Grind together coconut, fennel seeds, chopped garlic, 3-4 tbsp of water and salt to a smooth paste.
  • Add the coconut paste to the cooked dal, mix well. Add chopped tomato and 1- 1.5 cups hot water.Let it cook for 5-7 mins on low flame. Switch off the gas.
  • Heat oil in a pan and crackle the mustard. Add small onion and curry leaves. When the small onion starts changing colour, add green chillies. Fry it till the small onion turns golden brown. Add this to the dal and mix well.
  • Serve hot with plain rice, Pulao, Ghee rice or roti.

I pressure cooked the dal for 6 whistles on high flame. Keep the cooker closed till the pressure drops. Open the cooker and mash the dal. Make sure you dont mash it too much, so that it will become pasty.
You can use Masoor dal or Green peas dal instead of toor dal.

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