Kali Urad Dal or Dhal/Split Black Gram Lentil

Kali dal/dhal, Urad dal/dhal dhuli or black gram dal lentil. 

Each lentil has a taste of its own and so goes for this one. It is considered a little heavy on the tummy so becomes an occasional treat. When it comes to preparing a menu for special occasions Kali Urad Dal/Dhal can be a worthy inclusion, especially if cooking for vegetarian guests.

The preparation method of this lentil is similar to all other Indian lentils. However, the boiling and tempering play a significant role in bringing out its true taste. Boiling here does NOT refer to the cooking process in the pressure cooker. 

Over these years of cooking I have realised that the pressure cooker merely ‘cooks’ the food, especially lentils. The ‘post-pressure cooker’ boiling is very important is bringing out the real taste of the dish. 

The tempering is done with garlic and ghee, or clarified butter. Please DO NOT replace the ghee with oil. The ghee is essential to get the authentic taste of Kali Urad Dal/Dhal. Besides, a little bit of ghee is good for the health. The half teaspoon of ghee to serve is optional but add it if you want your dal/dhal to taste the best. 🙂

Urad dal dhuli or the split black gram is easily available at all Indian grocery stores.

Kali Dal or Dhal/Split Black Gram Lentil

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

1 hour, 10 minutes


Kali Dal or Dhal/Split Black Gram Lentil

Split Black Gram Lentil/Kali Urad Dal or Dhal - humble dal with the taste of nobility.


  • Urad Dal Chilka - 1 cup
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves - 5-6
  • Red chilli whole - 2
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Ghee - 2 tsps
  • Salt as per taste


  1. Wash the dal thoroughly.
  2. Add 4 cups of water, turmeric and salt and pressure cook.
  3. Set on high flame.
  4. After the first whistle turn the flame to low and allow to cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. When the pressure is released from the pressure cooker open it and give the dal a good stir.
  6. Return the dal to the flame and allow to boil.
  7. Keep stirring frequently.
  8. Stirring is important while boiling or the dal might settle to the bottom and get burnt.
  9. Boil till the dal is of even consistency.
  10. You will know that the boiling is done when the dal and water are well mixed. This also ensures that the lentil is well cooked.
  11. For the tempering
  12. Cut the garlic in julienne pieces and break the chilli in small pieces.
  13. Heat the ghee in a tempering dish.
  14. Add the garlic and cook till brown.
  15. Add the chilli powder, chilli pieces and asafoetida.
  16. Wait for 5-10 seconds and pour the tempering into the dal.
  17. Cover immediately to trap the taste in the dal.
  18. Open after 10 minutes and give it a good stir.
  19. To serve, pour a ladle full into a bowl, add half a teaspoon of ghee and serve with hot rice or roti.
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