Tomato dal recipe – How to make andhra tomato pappu recipe – Tomato pappu recipe

Dal also called as lentils or split pulses is a staple Indian cuisine normally eaten with chapathis, naans or rice.  In India, it is eaten with rice and with a wheat flatbread called roti. The manner in which it is cooked and presented varies by region.

Andhra tomato pappu or tomato dal is a very popular dal recipe from the Andhra cuisine.  ‘Pappu’ means ‘dal’ in telugu language.  In this recipe,  tomatoes are added to give a tangy taste and flavor to the dal.   As Andhra cuisine is known for its spicy flavours,  this tomato dal is spicy and also tangy and delicious in taste.  This dal is one of the different variations of dal in the Indian cuisine.

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Prep Time :  15 mins

Cook Time : 20 mins

Servings :  4 persons

Andhra cuisine


Tuvar dal or arhar dal or pigeon peas lentils – 1/2 cup

Onion – 1 (chopped finely)

Tomatoes – 2 (chopped roughly)

Ghee or oil – 2 tablespoons

A pinch of asafoetida or hing

Mustard seeds or rai – 1/2 teaspoon

Cumin seeds or jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Green chillies – 2 (chopped finely)

Garlic cloves – 5 (grated or chopped finely)

Ginger – 1/2 inch (grated)

Few curry leaves

Red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


Wash the tuvar dal thoroughly.  Then soak the dal in 2 and 1/2 cups of water for half an hour.  After half an hour, add chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder to the soaked dal. Pressure cook on a medium flame for upto 4  whistles or till the dal is well cooked.

Once the pressure is cooled down, gently mash the dal and keep it aside.

Heat ghee/oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.  Then add cumin seeds and saute till they turn light brown in colour.

Add  green chillies, chopped garlic cloves and ginger.  Saute till the raw aroma goes away.  Then add chopped onion and curry leaves.

Saute till the onions become translucent.  Then add the mashed dal-tomato mixture and mix well.

Add red chilli powder and salt. Mix well.  Add 1/2 cup of water or as required and bring it to a medium consistency in the dal.

Close the pan with its lid and simmer on a low flame for 5-7 minutes.  Switch off the flame.  Garnish the tomato dal with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve tomato dal or Andhra tomato pappu with steamed rice or rotis


Use ghee instead of oil as ghee gives a better taste and flavor to the dal.

Ensure to soak the lentils for a minimum of 30 mins so that the lentils gets well-cooked.

Adjust the spiciness according to your taste.

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