Are you one of those people who loves eating Kalay Masar (lentils) with boiled rice, achar (pickle) and fresh salad. This combination makes me drool. This simple and staple dish brings back nostalgic feelings from my childhood. Memories of my mother making us eat masar chawal with boiled egg with her own hands. We all used to sit in front of her and eat together while watching TV. Priceless!

Dal Pakhtouni is a black gram made in tomato cream based gravy. I was watching my regular morning show where chef Shireen Anwar had this on her menu. The creamy, rich look of kalay masar tempted me to try it right away. I hoped to replicate the perfect look that the chef created on the show and thankfully I was successful. It was extremely delicious and aromatic. This method is a departure from regular method of making kalay masar and I found this new method extraordinary. I will be making it regularly.

I served daal with a dollop of desi ghee on the top with garam choprie rotiyan (buttered flat bread). My husband and my son really enjoyed it.


  • Whole Black Gram Lentil (Kalay Masar) – 1 cup
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato Paste- ½ cup
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Green Chilies- 2 – 3 finely crushed
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander seeds – ½ teaspoon, roasted and crushed [ For best results and maximum aromatic flavors, I always blend green chilies with coriander seeds]
  • Cream – ½ cup
  • Butter- 2 tablespoon
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves- finely chopped for garnish
  • Ginger – finely grated for garnish
  • Preparation time : 10 – 15 Minutes
  • Cooking time : 2 – 2 1/2 Hour
  • Number of servings (yield) : 4 -5 Individuals


  • Soak the kalay masar overnight
  • Boil them in 2 – 3 cups of water until tender.
  • Add grinded ginger garlic paste into the boiling water as the daal cook.
  • In a pan, heat ¼ cup oil. Add butter, tomato puree and all the spices. Let it cook for 5 – 10 minutes until raw smell disappears and oil starts leaving the sides of tomato curry.
  • Add cream in the curry and let is simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Then add daal into the curry and mix well, cook on dam for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with ginger, coriander leaves, and green chilies.

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.