Dal is something almost every Indian household makes on a regular basis. It reminds me of my childhood, and brings so much comfort and happiness to my mind. There are tons of variations of dal made across India due to the different types of lentils that can be cooked and spices added. My version is a quick and easy recipe thanks to the Instant Pot! It is cozy, warm and comforting. I love using split pigeon peas because of how creamy and thick the dal gets. You can also mix dals, such as masoor dal and toor dal. In addition, it is also loaded with warm spices and flavors, and topped with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon for brightness. You can either add in tomatoes, onions and garlic for extra flavor or leave it out for a much more simple but still cozy and comforting dal. It is gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. It is also #plantbasedwhole30 compatible! Let me know if you make this by leaving a comment below. Enjoy!
Instant Pot Dal
- 1 Instant Pot
- 1 cup rinsed split pigeon peas (toor dal) or mix of 3/4 cup masoor dal 1/4 cup toor dal
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala optional; only add if using onions, tomatoes, garlic etc.
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder or red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 large yellow or red onion, chopped optional; only add if using onions, tomatoes, garlic etc.
- 1 medium tomato, chopped optional; only add if using onions, tomatoes, garlic etc.
- 2 cloves grated garlic optional; only add if using onions, tomatoes, garlic etc.
- pinch of asafetida (hing) Must use! I get gluten free hing from Pure Indian Foods
- Handful chopped cilantro and a generous squeeze of lemon for garnish
- First, prepare your ingredients. Rinse the dal in a colander and set aside. If using, chop the onions and tomatoes, and grate the garlic using a grater or microplane and set aside.
- Set your Instant Pot to the "Saute" mode. Add coconut oil or ghee to the pot. Add the cumin seeds and hing and let them bloom in the oil for 15 seconds. If using, add the onions and garlic and saute them until they turn translucent. Next, if using, add the tomatoes and let it cook down. Finally, add all spices (turmeric, coriander, red chili powder, garam masala if using) and saute briefly until fragrant. Be careful to not let the spices burn in the oil, especially if you're not using onions, tomatoes, etc.
- Add the rinsed dal and 4 cups of water. Stir everything together once. Press cancel on your Instant Pot. Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes and naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure after that.
- Open the lid and season with salt. Taste and adjust as needed.
- Garnish with cilantro, a generous squeeze of lemon and an extra dollop of ghee. Serve hot!