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Instant Pot Toor Dal

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Toor dal or split pigeon peas is a lentil and is popularly used to make dal tadka. It is vegan, gluten-free, and served with Indian bread or rice dishes. This is a quick and easy recipe to make toor dal in an instant pot without soaking.
toor dal with cilantro and red chili for garnishing.

Toor dal is a popular lentil made very commonly in Indian cuisine. Toor dal is an easy one-pot dish made by pressure cooking it unsoaked in the instant pot. Toor dal also stores well and can be cooked plain in bulk for meal planning.

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What is toor dal?

Toor dal is split pigeon peas. It is the basic ingredient to make yellow dal tadka. Split pigeon peas lentil curry is the most common preparation compared to all other types of dals in Indian cuisine.

What is toor dal made of?

Toor dal is a simple lentil curry made with basic pantry ingredients. Along with split pigeon peas, onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, and a few basic spices are required.

For the tadka or tempering, mustard seeds or cumin seeds or both can be used. You can use dry whole red chili or green chilies for spiciness and adjust it as per taste.

Depending on the preference, you can add more water to adjust it to the desired consistency. For garnishing, top the dal with cilantro and lime juice while serving.

toor dal served in a wok with rice and salad in background.

Is toor dal gluten-free?

Toor dal is a lentil and just like other lentils, it is gluten-free. If you use oil for tempering, it is also vegan.

How to make toor dal in instant pot?

Split pigeon peas cook perfectly well in the instant pot. There is no need to soak toor dal before pressure cooking. Just rinsing it thoroughly well 2-3 times in water is enough.

First, turn on the instant pot sauté mode with the normal setting and add ghee. If you are vegan, you can use oil.

Once the ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. Add asafoetida (hing), whole red chili, cloves, curry leaves followed by onions, and ginger garlic paste.

collage of step by step details to make toor dal in instant pot.

Saute until onions are translucent (about a minute). Add the tomatoes and give it a good mix. Add rinsed toor dal, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, and water and deglaze the pot with a spatula.

Boil the unsoaked toor dal on high-pressure mode for 12 minutes followed by natural pressure release. The instant pot will take some time to come to pressure before it cooks for the set time of 12 minutes.

Once the pressure is released, open the lid and give the dal a good mix. You can add some water to adjust to the desired consistency. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime juice while serving.

What is too dal water ratio in instant pot?

Unsoaked toor dal can be cooked in the instant pot with a ratio of 1:3 of dal to water. You can always adjust the consistency later if needed. If you add too much water then it will take longer for the instant pot to come to pressure.

What to do if dal is not cooked properly?

Dal may not cook properly because of few reasons. If you have a bad batch of dal, it may take longer to cook. In that case, it would be best to soak the dal for 30 minutes in warm water and cook for a longer time in the instant pot.

Sometimes you might end up cooking dal on the low-pressure mode in the instant pot. This can end up dal being uncooked. Pressure cook dal again on high-pressure mode for 5-7 minutes to cook it properly.

What can you eat with dal?

Toor dal is commonly cooked in Indian meals. It shouldn't be a surprise to know that many people cook it every day! Dal is served with roti, sabzi (sauteed vegetables), curries, and rice as a complete Indian meal or thali.

Dal is eaten with Indian bread like roti, puri, paratha, naan. It is also eaten with plain rice or other rice dishes like pulao or cumin rice.

It is also served with a very famous Indian traditional dish called bati or bafla. Any leftover dal can also be used to make dal paratha.

After cooking dal, spinach leaves can be added to it to make spinach dal or dal palak.

toor dal in a small wok with rice and salad in background.

How to store cooked dal?

Cooked dal can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it for a month in freezer-friendly zip lock bags or containers.

You can also pressure cook plain toor dal and water in the instant pot and allow it to cool down and freeze it. When you are ready to use it, thaw the dal and then season it with spices, onions, and tomatoes.

How to thaw frozen dal?

Frozen dal can be defrosted in the microwave. You can also keep the container with frozen dal in the fridge overnight for defrosting.

Thawed lentils can then be reheated in a saucepan, instant pot, or microwave.

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cooked toor dal close up.

Instant Pot Toor Dal | Split Pigeon Peas Curry

Toor dal or split pigeon peas is a lentil and is popularly used to make dal tadka. It is vegan, gluten-free, and served with Indian bread or rice dishes. This is a quick and easy recipe to make toor dal in an instant pot without soaking.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Alpa Jain

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Toor Dal
  • 3 cup Water
  • 1 large Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 cup Onion (chopped)
  • ½ tsp Ginger paste
  • ½ tsp Garlic paste

Oil and spices

For garnishing

  • Lime juice (few drops)
  • Cilantro (chopped)

Instructions

  • Rinse toor dal in water 2-3 times and discard the water.
  • Turn on the instant pot on saute mode with normal setting.
  • Once the instant pot is hot, add ghee (or oil for vegan).
  • Once ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
  • Add hing, whole red chili, cloves, and curry leaves.
  • Add the onions, ginger and garlic paste. Saute until onions are translucent (about a minute)
  • Add the tomatoes and give it a good mix.
  • Add toor dal, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, and water.
  • Deglaze the pot with a spatula.
  • Press cancel to come out of saute mode.
  • Lock the lid with pressure knob in sealing position.
  • Pressure cook on high pressure mode for 12 minutes followed by natural pressure release.
  • Open the lid, give the dal a good mix, optionally add more water if needed and saute for a minute.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime juice while serving.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Toor Dal | Split Pigeon Peas Curry
Amount per Serving
Calories
125
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
6
mg
2
%
Sodium
 
421
mg
18
%
Potassium
 
132
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
19
g
6
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
411
IU
8
%
Vitamin C
 
40
mg
48
%
Calcium
 
40
mg
4
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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