Tuvar Dal, Gujarati Style

August 24, 2012mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Tuvar Dal, Gujarati Style

Tuvar Dal, Gujarati Style is an every day  dal or lentil recipe that is usually served with plain rice and a dollop of ghee on the side. This dal recipe varies from one Gujarati home to another. Different spices, consistency, amount of tomatoes used, etc. I learned how to make this delicious dal from my mother in law, Nunu.

What is Tuvar Dal?

Tuvar, toor, pigeon pea, tur, arhar, kandhi pappu,thuvara parippa, togari bele is a legume. The peas are dried and can be used whole to make certain curries like the popular Swahili dish Mbaazi. However, split tuvar dal is the most common one used from North to South of India. Used to make curries, a staple in most homes, the method will vary from state to state. Some add vegetables like the sambhar made in the South, some add onion and garlic, some make with spices. Whichever way it is made, its usually served with rice or roti. Dalma a curry from Odiya Cuisine, is a simple to make and yet very flavorful dal. Andhra Style Palak Dal is such a good way to include loads of spinach in the dal. The most popular dish with my family, Dal Dhokli is prepared using tuvar dal, dumpling and vegetables.

What else can you use Tuvar dal for?

Besides making curries, Tuvar dal is used to make tuvar dal khichdi. Many homes in Gujarat use it as a filling for the popular puran poli. In South India it is common to use toor dal to make chutneys or podi (spices powder)

Can we use fresh Tuvar or Pigeon Peas?

Yes its possible to use fresh tuvar to make easy sabji or side dish like Methi Tuvar Nu Shaak. I love making fresh tuvar and bajri kadhi. My mum use to love fresh tuvar or as popularly known lilva ni kachori. Tuvar or pigeon pea is cultivated widely in Kenya so whenever the first tender fresh Tuva would appear on the market, my mum would make the kachoris. Githeri is a very popular Kenyan dish where fresh pigeon peas are used to make this wholesome and healthy meal.

Tuvar Ni Dal Gujarati Style

Known as Orange Dal, by my son when he was a toddler, Tuvar Dal is a very popular curry made in Gujarati homes. Enjoyed with steaming rice and a dollop of ghee (clarified ghee) or by dunking soft rotlis in it, its a standard curry prepared during any occasion and weddings too.  Tuvar dal made but the Patel Community tends to be quite different from the way other Gujarati communities make it. Sweet and tangy at the same time, whenever made for special occasions kahrek (dried dates) and kokum (Garcinia indica) are added with lots of ghee.

As a child I remember attending weddings where we all would sit on the endless length of gunny sack material and would be served with hot piping Tuva dal along with churma na laddoos. At that time there were no tables and chairs when attending weddings or other important festivals. Now the scenario is so different. Traditional food is hardly ever served and every one stands around tables and nibbles on the food.


How is Tuvar Dal Made?

Basically the split tuvar dal is washed and soaked for 30 – 45 minutes in warm water. The dal is then cooked usually in the pressure cooker till it becomes really soft. Some add tomatoes when cooking the dal. I learnt how to make tuvar dal from my mother in law. She would stir the tomato puree with spices and then add it to the curry. I prefer her method as it results in a lovely orangish brown colour of the dal. The secret ingredient to any good dal is the garam masala. I always make it at home for that special flavour and aroma. For the sour taste lemon juice or kokum is added and no dal is complete without the addition of jaggery.

Dietary Tips:

  • For a gluten free version avoid adding asafetida as it contains wheat flour
  • For a vegan version, replace ghee with oil
  • Has no onion or garlic so its suitable as a satvic meal

So go on, check out the recipe for Tuvar Dal Gujarati style which is served on my dining table at least twice a week. Yes, that’s how much the family loves it.

tuvar dal 1


tuvar dal 2


tuvar dal 3



Tuvar dal is an every day Gujarati dal or lentil recipe that is usually served with plain rice and a dollop of ghee on the side.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
SOAKING TIME: 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Gujarati
Servings 4


  • 1 cup tuvar dal split pigeon pea lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp musard seeds
  • ¼ to ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp clove powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 -2 dry red chilis
  • ½ tsp garam masala or dal masala
  • 12 to 14 peanuts
  • 3 pieces kokum or 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 to 6 cloves
  • 6 to 8 peppercorns
  • 1 to 1½ tsp salt
  • ¼ to ½ tsp chilli paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup fresh tomato puree
  • 2 tbsps grated jaggery gur or brown sugar
  • pinch of hing asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp ghee clarified butter or oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


  • 1 tbsp cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp mace powder
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick



  • Roast all the ingredients except the powders in a pan or frying pan over low heat till you get a pleasant aroma and find that the spices are beginning to turn brown. This takes about 4 to 5 minutes. Remember roast over low heat. Let the mixture cool. Grind in a  grinder to a fine powder. Add the remaining powders and mix well. Store in an airtight jar. Can use it for other curry dishes too.
  • My dal masala is made by Nunu. She mixes a million spices to make it and it has the most amazing aroma. I store it in the freezer in a jar to maintain the freshness and aroma.


  • Wash and soak tuvar dal in 2 cups of warm water for at least half an hour or more.
  • Put the dal along with the water in a pressure cooker. Add ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds and turmeric powder. Cover the pressure cooker and let the lentils cook over medium heat for 3 whistles. If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook it in a pan partially covered but you may need more water and it will take longer.
  • When the lentils are done, pass it through a big sieve to obtain a smooth liquid.
  • In a small container put together the cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, kokum, peanuts, dry red chilis, remaining fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds.
  • In another small container put together red chilli, clove, cinnamon and the remaining turmeric powders, asafoetida, garam masala and coriander cumin powder.
  • Heat the ghee in a small pan over medium heat. When it is hot add the mixture of whole spices you have kept ready in step 4.
  • When the spices begin to sizzle, add the powdered spices you have kept ready in step 5. Stir for a few seconds and immediately add the ginger and chilli paste.Stir.
  • Add tomato puree and mix well. Add jaggery and salt. Let the gravy cook till it becomes a bit thick.
  • Take a deep pan. Put the sieved lentil mixture into it along with the remaining water. Heat the dal up under medium heat.
  • When the gravy is ready, add it to the simmering dal. Let it simmer over low heat for nearly 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Just before serving garnish with coriander.
  • Serve hot with rice or rotli.


  • Add a few pieces of peeled and cubed suran (elephant's foot yam) while simmering the dal. It tastes yummy.
  • Sometimes I add lemon juice or tamarind pulp along with the kokum to get a nice tangy taste.
  • Sometimes I add a tbsp of fresh grated coconut along with ginger and chili.
  • Adjust the amount of spices used according to your taste.
  • This dal freezes well. Make the amount you require and freeze it in small containers.
  • Once thawed, do not freeze it again.
Keyword Gujarati dal recipe, toor dal, tuvar dal, gujarati style, tuvar ni dal

Pin for later:

tuvar dal

A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email mayuri.ajay.patel62@gmail.com
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • greenbowl2soulgmailcom

    November 17, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Tuvar dal and rice is comfort food for me. You post has made me hungry. I never tried its Gujarati version but will try it definitely.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2019 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you so much Vandana, dal and rice are definitely comfort food.

    2. Lata Lala

      November 20, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      I have grown up eating this style dal in Gujarat Mayuri. This one is my favourite dal with khatta meetha taste. Garam ghee wala rice with dal is so comforting.
      I can never get tired of eating bowlful of this ever.

      1. mayurisjikoni

        November 20, 2019 at 4:55 pm

        Thank you so much Lata, me too never get tired of simple tuvar dal and rice or dipping rotli in it.

  • Pavani

    November 17, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Wow, this is such a hearty, comforting dish. Andhra style dal is totally different from the Gujarati version. I would love to try this recipe for my family some time. Pinned!! Thanks for sharing this traditional recipe with us.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 18, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks Pavani and you’re welcome. Hope you family loves it.

  • Archana

    November 20, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Such a delicious bowl of dal! Mayuri this post is so very detailed and covers almost every aspect of tuvar dal. I love dal and will certainly want more of dal n less rice especially if it is as delicious as the gujju style dal.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you so much Archana.

  • Jolly

    November 20, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Wow, Such a comforting and delicious bowl of Tu at dal in Gujarat version. This is totally different from my version. I always love authentic style of dishes.Would love to try this recipe for my husband some time, he loves tuvar dal. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks Jolly and you’re welcome.

  • Geetha

    November 21, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Tuvar dal is such a comfort dish to have that I can have it everyday! Loved this gujarati khatta meeta version. Homemade garam masala is the best part of this recipe. Thanks for sharing detailed recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 21, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Geetha and you’re welcome.

      1. Rasika naik

        January 21, 2020 at 1:36 pm

        I always like your receipes and the tips you give .

  • namscorner18

    November 21, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    We love dal and rice in Tamilnadu. Gujarati style dal is totally different with lot of spices and perfect for me. Would love to try it sometime.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 21, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Narmadha, please do try it, it is different.

  • amrita

    November 21, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Now I know how a simple Dal could be so exotic without onion and garlic…. A melody of aromatic spices take this humble Dal to a different level…

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 21, 2019 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you so much Amrita. The spices definitely makes it delicious.

  • Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    November 21, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    We use a ton of tuvar dal to make sambhar and rasam. This is such a delicious dal recipe and I love Gujarati food. I am so going to make this soon. I can’t have enough dal recipes as my family loves it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 25, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks Sandhya, its only after I started blogging that I’ve learnt how to make different regional dals with Tuvar. I too get bored of the same type.

  • Malini

    November 23, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Tuvar dal is such a comfort food, It goes well with roti and rice, In my household, we make this dal often at least 2 to 3 times a week. I never tried this way, the cloves, cinnamon and all those flavorful spices take this dal to another step. Love the addition of peanuts as well. I will try this soon. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 25, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much Malini, Gujju style dal is incomplete without peanuts.

  • jayashreetrao

    November 30, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Dal is the staple food at home, it’s been long time I made the Gujarati dal at home. Looks delicious and shall make it sometime soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 2, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

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