I can eat dal anytime, anywhere. As a soup by itself, with rice or quinoa, or with rotis. My non-Indian friends are always surprised with the number and variety of dals that we make. In fact, about a week ago, I was orienting a friend through the aisles of a newly opened Indian super market and she was shocked at the colors and shapes of the lentils (dals) that flooded the aisles. This particular dal is one I make regularly in the Instant Pot. The melding of the dal with the spiciness of the chillies and ginger, the sweetness/tartness of the tomatoes, and the creaminess of the coconut milk, just create a dish that is packed with flavors. While the list of ingredients appears to be long, you will still come out with a pretty good dal even if some of the spices are missing.
- 1/2 cup tur dal, washed a few times and set aside
- 2 tsps cooking oil (I used canola)
- 2 tsps mustard seeds
- 2 tsps cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp asafetida
- 2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
- 7 green chilies, four finely chopped, three slit lengthwise
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsps salt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1.5 cups water
1. Turn on the Instant Pot and set to Sauté function
2. Add the oil to the Instant Pot and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafetida, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Sauté for a minute, till the mustard seeds stop crackling.
3. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, brown sugar, and salt and sauté for a couple of minutes.
4. Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook Mode, add the tur dal, the coconut milk, and 1.5 cups water to the tomato mixture and cook at full pressure for 15 minutes. After that, let the pressure release naturally for ten minutes.
5. Move the pressure valve to the release position and let any remaining pressure release. Once all the pressure has been released, open the lid. You can now either smash the dal with a spatula against the wall of the cooker or run a hand blender once or twice.
6. Serve with rice or quinoa or rotis.