Dal (Lentil) is a popular dish in Indian cuisine and a good source of protein for the vegetarian diet. Chana dal fry or dal tadka is a lentil curry and goes well with rice or Indian bread like roti, poori, or naan alike. Chana dal can be easily cooked in the instant pot without soaking.
What is chana dal?
Chana dal is called split chickpeas in English. It is a type of lentil and is used in making chana dal curry or dal fry.
Ingredients to make chana dal tadka
Chana dal masala or chana dal fry requires only a few basic ingredients and requires very little prep time. Here is a list of ingredients
- Chana dal
- Ginger garlic paste (Check out how to make ginger garlic paste at home)
- Serrano pepper (adjust as per spiciness)
- Spices - Turmeric powder, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala
- Garnishing - Cilantro Lime juice
Are split peas and split chickpeas the same?
No. Split peas and split chickpeas are not the same. Split peas or matar dal are dried, peeled and split seeds of peas (pisum sativum). Split chickpeas or chana dal are obtained from the kernel of dried and peeled brown chickpeas or kala chana.
How to cook chana dal without soaking?
Chana dal can be cooked perfectly without soaking in the instant pot or in the pressure cooker. It can also be cooked by boiling on cooktop but takes much longer.
How to cook chana dal in instant pot?
Chana dal can be pressure cooked in the instant pot and the best part is you do not need to monitor.
Add ginger garlic paste followed by onions and saute them until they are translucent. Add tomatoes, serrano pepper and the spices - turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Continue to saute until tomatoes are soft.
Finally add the rinsed chana dal, water, and salt. Deglaze the pot with the help of a stainless steel spatula. Lock the lid and allow to pressure cook on high followed by a natural pressure release (allowing the silver pin to drop by itself). After opening add some garam masala, lime juice, and cilantro for garnishing.
A ratio of 1:2.5 cups of chana dal and water works well for chana dal masala. You can also adjust the consistency after opening the instant pot by adding water as needed and allow it to cook in soup mode for a few minutes until it starts boiling.
How long to cook chana dal?
Unsoaked chana dal can be cooked in an instant pot for 15 minutes. Soaking dal for 30 minutes can help reduce the cooking time by a few minutes. Soaked chana dal can be cooked in an instant pot in 12 minutes on high-pressure mode.
How do you know when chana dal is cooked?
Chana dal isn't mushy after it is pressure cooked. You can clearly see whole lentils but is soft when pressed between your fingers. This means it is cooked well.
What to do if dal is not cooked properly?
If chana dal feels hard on pressing after cooking, then it is not cooked properly. You can add more water if needed and pressure cook it again for 5-10 minutes in the instant pot and then do a quick release.
Why chana dal doesn't cook?
Chana dal takes much longer to cook compared to other lentils. If it doesn't cook properly, it may be an old batch of dal. However, soaking dal for 30 minutes before cooking or pressure cook for longer time might help in such a situation.
What is chana dal served with?
How to store cooked chana dal?
Chana dal, like other lentils and dals, store well. It works well for meal planning. Chana dal tadka can be refrigerated for 4-5 days. When you are ready to eat, simply reheat in the microwave or on the cooktop.
Dals in general tend to thicken in consistency once refrigerated. Adding little water while reheating can help get the desired consistency.
Can you freeze cooked chana dal?
Cooked chana dal can be frozen for upto a month and stored in freezer bags. In fact, you can just pressure cook the chana dal with water and freeze it. Other ingredients and spices can be added later while reheating.
When you are ready to use the frozen chana dal, simple defrost it in the microwave or keep it in the refrigerator for few hours to thaw before reheating it.
Don't forget to check out these Indian lentil recipes made in instant pot
- Panchmel dal (mixed dal)
- Moong dal paratha
- Moong dal halwa
- Toor dal (split pigeon peas)
- Green moong dal
- Spinach dal
- Dal makhani
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Instant Pot Chana Dal Without Soaking
- 1 cup Chana dal
- 1 Tomato (chopped)
- ½ cup Onion (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
- 2 ½ cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Serrano pepper
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- Cilantro (chopped)
- 2 teaspoon Lime juice (optional, to taste)
- Rinse chana dal with water until water runs clear.
- Turn the instant pot on "saute" mode on normal setting
- Once the instant pot is hot, add oil and allow oil to become hot.
- Add ginger and garlic paste and saute for a few seconds
- Add chopped onions and continue to saute until they are translucent
- Saute until tomatoes are mushy.
- Lock the lid with release valve in sealing position.
- Press cancel to come out of saute mode.
- Select manual or pressure mode on high setting for 15 minutes.
- Once done, allow the pressure to release normally until the silver pin drops
- Open the lid, stir in the garam masala.
- Optionally add some lime juice and cilantro for garnishing.
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