Puneri Dal (Yellow Lentils Pune-Style)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

This dal, much prized by Puneri Brahmins in Maharashtra, is sweet and fragrantly spicy, with a slightly sour undertone. Kokum, one of the ingredients, is a local sour fruit which has been dried, and it gives southern Indian food a distinctive flavour. It is often available from Indian groceries, but tamarind paste is an acceptable substitute. Asafoetida is a gum resin prized as a condiment in India. It is also known variously as 'devil's dung' and 'food of the gods'! It has a strong sulphur smell prior to cooking, but thereafter has a pleasant aroma. Asafoetida is a useful antidote for flatulence, and is thus incorporated into many Indian lentil dishes! Goda Masala is a Maharashtrian spice blend. I have posted the recipe for it separately (see Goda Masala).

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Simmer the lentils in 4 cups of water for approximately 20 minutes, until just cooked, but not ‘mushy’.
  2. Keep an eye on the lentils while they cook to ensure the water does not fully evaporate.
  3. Drain off most of the water when the lentils are cooked and add the powder spices, kokum (or tamarind paste), desiccated coconut and salt to taste.
  4. Simmer for a couple of minutes and stir until well mixed, adding more water if necessary to make a moist, but not ‘sloppy’, consistency.
  5. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  6. Heat oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds, and saute until they pop and crackle.
  7. Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
  8. Stir once, then pour the oil and spices over the lentils.
  9. Mix well, and serve hot garnished with cilantro.
  10. Accompany with rice and a vegetable curry if desired.


Most Helpful

This made for such a simple and yet so nourishing dinner. We had it with kusum's stuffed karelas(bitter gourd)Recipe #55817 and basmati rice. Thanks for sharing!

rosewater February 22, 2006

This is a wonderfully tasty dal and Mom and I really enjoyed this for dinner tonight. The only substitute I used was 1 tomato instead of the tamarind paste. I made your Goda masala first and my my, that is an incredible blend of spices indeed. I'm so thankful to you for sharing the recipe. Pune is a beautiful place(I was there this last year on 29th October'2005) and I really enjoyed my time there. I hope to go back and live there permanently sometime next year. We enjoyed this dal with recipe #131149. My dinner tonight was memorable and the next time I have guests, these are sure going to be on the table!

Charishma_Ramchandani January 07, 2006

Totally wonderful, Daydream!! I used your Goda masala recipe#109909,tamarind paste and palm sugar.The flavour of this dish is so deep-it is spicy,fragrant,sweetish yet sourish. Excellent scooped onto pappadums and definitely one I will make again!!

Fairy Nuff February 27, 2005

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