Dal Chicken Recipe

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Dal Chicken is an authentic recipe made with Urad Dal and chicken. It’s a quick recipe that you can whip up with just a few ingredients, and it boasts exceptional flavor. The Dal Chicken can be served with roti or rice, etc. 

dal chicken

Last month, I made dal gosht that was a true delicacy, and my reader asked me to use chicken instead of beef. Here, I am preparing the entire new dish of Dal Chicken from scratch. I tried it for the first time, and the outcome was mind-blowing.

The tangy flavor and juicy chicken bites with hot naans are the perfect match that makes your meal more special. I’ve had huge complaints from my husband, who asked me to prepare the recipe again next Sunday. 

dal chicken

Why Will This Recipe Win Your Heart?

  • Creamy & Tangy: I used the Urad Dal (dal Mash), which has a creamy texture in this recipe. And it pairs perfectly well with succulent chicken bites, developing a tangy and umami flavor. 
  • Easy To Make: I prefer this recipe over dal gosht because it’s quick and easy. Chicken cooks faster than beef, and dal mash is the only lentil that decomposes in 8 – 10 minutes. These ingredients save time, making this recipe super easy.
  • Amazing Texture: The tangy and oily layer over the dal and juicy chicken bites give a more appealing texture. My husband took several pictures of this and shared them on Snapchat, and these small tributes give me more confidence to cook my next treat.

More About Chicken Dal

chicken dal recipe

Dal Chicken is made with spilled chickpeas and boneless chicken. First, we prepare gravy with tomatoes and onions, fry chicken in this gravy, and then add dal. 

After making dal gosht with Urad dal (maash Dal), I tested Urad dal again for the dal chicken recipe, and it’s superb. Contrary to that, split lentils (dal chana) take too long to cook, making the entire recipe boring. 

Typically, there are two ways of making dal chicken.

First, boil the lentil (dal) separately in a pressure cooker, fry the chicken in another pot, then blend the cooked dal with the chicken. This is a two-pot recipe that saves time. 

Secondly, you can opt for a one-pot recipe; just put chicken and lentils in one pot, add spices and water, and you’re good to go. However, this approach is time-consuming and yields a flavor that deviates slightly from the traditional taste.

So, I stick with the first method. 


chicken dal ingredients
  • Chicken: I suggest you use boneless chicken because bone-in chicken feels Irksome in bites. 
  • Lentil: This is my personal preference; I love dal Mash. It cooks super fast, and its taste is more creamy and indulgent. You can also use dal chana (split chickpea).
  • Onions & Tomatoes: These are the building blocks of dal chicken gravy. I’m using finely sliced tomatoes and onions. You can also use the food processor to chop these ingredients. 
  • Garlic Ginger Paste: Like in most Pakistani and Indian cuisine, you’ll also require a garlic and ginger paste for the dal chicken. This paste infuses a pleasant aroma and makes the gravy more savory. 
  • Spices: I’m using basic spices easily available in every pantry. These include coriander powder, paprika, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds & black pepper (garam masala), and fenugreek. Further, for a more savory experience, I will add soy sauce and red chili sauce. 
  • Garnishing: For garnishing, I’m using lemons, cilantro, green chiles, and finely chopped ginger pieces.

How To Make Dal Chicken 

Boil The Urad Dal

  1. The first step is to pressure cook the dal Mash (Urad dal). Simply add it to the pressure cooker, add one glass of water, toss salt, turmeric powder, and star anise for the flavor. Now, pressure cook Dal for 10 minutes on a medium flame. 
dal mash

Preparing Gravy 

  1. Now, take another pan and heat the oil in it. Toss the minced onion and cumin seeds, and sauté the onions until they turn golden brown. Keep the flame medium during this process.  
saute the onions
add cumin seeds
  1. Add Garlic Ginger Paste: Now add garlic ginger paste. There is no need to add water now; just stir it for a minute so the onions and paste blend perfectly. 
add garlic ginger paste
  1. Add Chicken: Toss the chicken pieces along with a pinch of salt, and stir this chicken curry for at least 2 minutes on a medium flame.
  1. Blend Tomatoes: Now our gravy is half done. Next, add the tomatoes and fry the chicken for 3 – 4 minutes. This time, close the lid and let the moisture of the tomatoes cook the chicken bites and make them succulent. 
adding tomatoes
  1. Bloom Spices: Next, add all the spices. This time, I’m also adding a splash of water to prevent spices from sticking at the bottom. Stir it well, and cover the lid for 4 minutes. Keep the stove flame medium during this process. 
add spices
  1. Add dal (lentil): At the end, add the boiled Urad dal and fry it for 4 – 5 minutes on a medium flame. You must add half a cup of water; otherwise, the dal might stick to the bottom or become clumpy. 
add urad dal
  1. Garnishing: Now garnish with cilantro and ginger pieces, and squeeze lemon to make it tangier. I’m also adding a cube of butter for a more creamy and savory experience. 
daal chicken

Tips For Making The dal Chicken More Special 

  • Adding Oil At The Top: Drizzling oil over the final plate makes Pakistani cuisine more appealing. And I did the same for this dal chicken. You can even use the pickle oil for an extra blast of spices. 
  • Use Ghee: For an extra creamy and aromatic touch, use the ghee. This will add an extra richness and buttery essence to the dish. 
  • Add Butter: This is complementary, but it’s an awesome way to make dal chicken more delicious and yummy. But if you’re living a dairy-free life, skip the butter. 
  • Use Yogurt: Do you remember the flavorsome taste of chicken korma? The authentic taste of this korma is due to yogurt. And you can also implement this taste in dal chicken by adding a few tablespoons of yogurt. 
  • Boil Dal In Advance: It takes me around 10 minutes to pressure cook the dal mash. You can save this time by boiling lentils (dal) in advance. Also, the boiled lentil is super fridge-friendly, so don’t hesitate to boil it in advance. 
  • Stirring Is The Key: I’ve found that stirring is the key to infusing taste in this recipe. Also, if you don’t want your dal clumpy, stir it. But don’t be brutal; gentle stirring will help you to get the perfect flavor without breaking the deal. 
  • Serve Hot: If your husband craves spicy and savory Pakistani cuisine, just serve the hot dal chicken before him, and you’ll be showered with compliments. This hot version of this dal is even more appetizing, comforting, and utterly delightful.


Dal chicken is not a refrigerator-friendly recipe, but you can still refrigerate it for two days. Before serving, reheat it on a medium stove top and stir it during reheating. 

If you’re a spicy lover like me, add more paprika and red chili powder. Also, squeeze some extra lemons for a citrus flavor. 

If you accidentally add a lot of water to curry, it can dilute the taste and weird the recipe. But don’t worry; you can eliminate the extra moisture by simply simmering the curry for few extra minutes without the covering the lid. The moisture will evaporate itself, giving you an authentic version of the recipe. 

How To Serve Dal Chicken?

The only thing we Pakistanis love to eat with such dishes is naan or hot chapati. It provides a very stratifying and fulfilling experience. But you can also use white rice with dal chicken based on your preference. 

Don’t forget to serve this cucumber salad or pasta salad with this dish to beat the heat of spices. You can also serve mint chutney and Rita for an extra satisfying experience. 

dal chicken

Dal Chicken Recipe

Dal Chicken is an authentic recipe made with Urad Dal and chicken. It's a quick recipe that you can whip up with just a few ingredients, and it boasts exceptional flavor. The Dal Chicken can be served with roti or rice, etc. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4


  • 500 g boneless chicken
  • 1 bowl urad dal 
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginge paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp tbsp fenugreek 
  • Salt (adjustable)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red chili sauce


  • cup cilantro
  • 2 lemon juice
  • 50 g minced ginger
  • 3 green chilies


  • To start, pressure cook the dal Mash (Urad dal). Add it to the cooker with a glass of water, salt, turmeric powder, and a star anise for flavor. Cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
  • Now, in another pan, heat oil. Add minced onion and cumin seeds, sautéing until onions turn golden brown on medium heat.
  • Next, add the garlic ginger paste. No need for water yet. Just stir for a minute to ensure the onions and paste blend perfectly.
  • Add the chicken and a pinch of salt, frying the chicken for at least 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir occasionally. 
  • Now that our gravy is halfway done, add the tomatoes and continue frying the chicken for 3-4 minutes. Close the lid this time and allow the moisture from the tomatoes to cook the chicken, making it succulent and flavorful.
  • Next, add all the spices. Add a splash of water to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom. Stir well, cover the lid, and let it simmer for 4 minutes on medium heat.
  • Finally, add the boiled Urad dal and fry it for 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Add half a cup of water to prevent the dal from sticking to the bottom or becoming clumpy.
  • To finish, garnish with cilantro, ginger pieces, and a squeeze of lemon for added tanginess. For a creamier and more savory experience, add a cube of butter.
Keyword chicken dal, daal chicken, dal chicken
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