Pakistani Mash ki dhal

In my world, there was only one type of lentils: the green ones. When I lived in Dubai where there is a massive population of Indians and Pakistanis among other Asian ethnicities, I discovered a whole world of pulses in different shapes and colours. I felt somewhat cheated!! How can all this exist and never tried it before?

So in the process of discovering a new life and adapting to my first expat experience, I became fan of some of these wonderful dhal (daal, or dal) dishes such as dhal makani, dhal tadka and mash ki dhal.

My Paki friend invited me to their house, I’ve met a wonderful humble family and the mummy taught me a few recipes (he did the translator and we worked out the rest with signs). I only recall the recipes for chicken biryani, the mashki dhal, and a sort of fried coriander chicken which was out of this world.

Today, I am posting the recipe of mashki dal, which you can call “mashed dhal” if you want it totally pureed..I had it mashed and not mashed, both versions are nice…

A soupy version of Mash ki dhal, give it 10 min and it will soak all the juice

Now if you live in Morocco or in North Africa, this type of lentils is nowhere to be found, I just brought some with me from Qatar…

If you live somewhere where you are lucky to find urad (urid) dhal, give it at try, it’s full of goodness and is a wonderful belly warming dish.

Serves 2
Prep: 5 min – Soaking: overnight – Cooking: 30 + 1 h
  • ½ cup of white urad (urid) dhal
  • 1 medium-size red Onion , finely chopped
  • 1 medium-size tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 hot red or green Thai chilli (or a small hot chilli)
  • 3 to 4 tbsp of vegetable oil or ghee (or mixture)
  • ½ thumb-size of fresh ginger  
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds  
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp of garam masala
  • 1 hint of curry or a few curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of coriander, chopped
To garnish
  • Coriander, chopped
  • Fresh ginger, chopped
Another thick mash ki dhal, cooked previously and served as a side dish


Wash urad dhal thoroughly until water becomes clear. Soak it overnight.

The next day, cover dhal with 2 cups of water and boil until soft (from 30 min to 1h).

In the meantime, heat the oil, fry cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Add the chopped onions, cook until translucid.

Add ginger, garlic, chopped chilli, turmeric, coriander powder. Add chopped tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes, covered.

Add dhal and salt.  Stir and cover. Let simmer for about 5 min. Add coriander and garam masala and let simmer. You may need ¼ to ½ cup of water to allow dhal to soak from the sauce.

At this stage, my Pakistani friends serve it as is, just like my favourite Pakistani restaurant in Dubai. But you may also blend it and serve it as a puree.

Sprinkle with chopped coriander and fresh ginger. Serve hot. I serve mine with fresh tomato salad, it works well as a fire-fighter if you add a lot of chilli or your chilli turns out extremely hot.

Some people serve it with white basmati rice, steamed, especially when the dhal has been pureed.

A final version of mash ki dhal, coarsly pureed


  1. Mm, lovely - I love me a good dal :D. It's actually one of my favourite dishes. Covered liberally with delicious coriander... makes such a wonderful meal and yours looks fab Nada! :)

  2. Thanks Charles, but most importantly it tasted memory of that wonderful woman who taught me how to cook it!

  3. Wow. I made this for dinner last night and it was amazing. I messed up a bit on the instructions however it seems to have turned out really well. Thanks so much.

    1. Oh don't worry, I think of it as a forgiving dish :)

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