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a plate of Khatti Daal with white rice and sliced red onions

Khatti Dal

A sour clean lentil dish that is absolutely perfect with some warm basmati rice!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Keyword dal, khatti, hyderabadi
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Sarah Mir


  • 1 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp sugar
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons

Baghaar/ Tadka/ Tempering

  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 5-6 dried red chillies (whole)
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


  • Boil the dal, 4 cups water, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and sugar together till the dal is completely tender. You want it to look fairly smooth
  • Add the juice of one lemon and taste, if it is not overtly sour with well rounded notes of spice and salt then adjust seasoning and add more lemon juice.

Baghaar/ Tadka / Tempering

  • Heat about 3 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan
  • Add the dried red chillies and cumin seeds
  • Cook on medium heat till the chillies are black on all sides
  • Carefully add in your sprig of curry leaves (they will splutter!)
  • Immediately pour your baghaar over the dal


While I am a daal roti kinda girl this one if unquestionably best suited to a steaming plate of rice!