Tomato pappu (tomato dal)

Tomato pappu/dal (tamatar ki dal in hindi) is very famous in Andhra cuisine and is very common and prepared in every house as per their way. Tomato pappu is a very simple dal, very easy to prepare. One of our famous combinations with this tomato dal is raw Mango chutney and fried crisps or papad (we call it badi, in Telugu vadiyalu , made of rice paste). At home we call it tamatar ki dal, we often cook tomato dal as it often goes well with any side dish you like. Tomato pappu/dal goes well with plain rice with a drizzle of ghee or with chapathi as well. With plain rice and tomato dal, you can have any chicken dish or mutton dish or any stir fry vegetable (porriyal) like okra fry, which I enjoy the most.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Cuisine: Andhra pradesh

Serves: 3 to 4

Spiciness: Medium hot


    For boiling dal

  • Toor dal (yellow split) – 1/2 cup
  • Garlic cloves (big) – 1
  • Green chillies (slit) – 5 to 6
  • Tomatoes (big) – 3
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds (fenugreek) powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Tadka

  • Oil – 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry chilli (broken) – 5
  • Curry leaves – 25
  • Garlic cloves (big, crushed/sliced) – 2
  • Onion (small, sliced) – 1


  • Wash the dal and soak the toor dal for 30minutes.
  • Chop the tomatoes, slit or half the green chillies, keep it ready.
  • Take a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients like garlic clove (crushed), tomatoes, green chillies, turmeric powder, water 2cups or as required and a tsp of oil except tadka.
  • Mix well and pressure cook up to 4 to 5 whistles on medium flame.
  • After few minutes, when pressure is released, open the lid and add salt as per taste.
  • With the help of ghotni (an Indian wooden masher used for mashing dal) or with the help of back of the ladle, mash the dal with other ingredients.
  • Tadka(tempering)

  • Heat oil in a small kadai or any vessel for tadka, when oil gets warm , add mustard seeds, when they start crackling , add cumin seeds, dry chillies, onion(sliced) and curry leaves, stir well, few seconds.
  • Add garlic crushed or sliced and cook until onion turns golden crisp colour and garlic is light brown, switch it off.
  • Immediately add this to the dal, mix soon, and close the lid quickly, so that tadka’s aroma is not escaped and well blended with the dal. Keep the lid closed for few minutes, 5 to 10 minutes approximately and serve immediately.
  • Or

  • Add tadka to the pressure cooked dal and combine. Cook on slow flame for a few minutes with lid closed, till you get the consistency of your choice.
  • Serve with plain rice, drizzle of ghee on top, goes very well. I have served the tomato dal with plain rice, drizzle of ghee, okra fry (poriyal), fried rice crisps (you can do any popadam) and pickle.


  • Those who don’t have pressure cooker can cook the dal in an open vessel first until dal is cooked and then add the vegetable.
  • If the dal is thick ,you can add water as per the consistency required.
  • The amount of water added in a cooker should not exceed the limit of pressure cooker, otherwise it will come out.
  • When it starts boiling a tsp of oil is added, so that boiling should not come outside the pressure cooker, the froth of dal.
  • Never add salt, in a dal during cooking, otherwise it will take more time to cook, always add salt in the last, after cooking.
  • In thadka can avoid onions and can use the rest of the ingredients.
  • With the same ingredients can make methi (fenugreek leaves) dal, spinach dal, mango dal, kacchi mirchi ki dal (green chillies dal), Dosakaya pappu.

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