Home » Recipes » Toor Dal {In Six Ways}

Toor Dal {In Six Ways}

by Sophie

Some warm and comforting toor dal? And in six different flavors? Oh, yes! Thanks to the instant pot, now I cook my Indian dal in just minutes. 

Tasty toor dal

What is Toor Dal?

Toor dal is split pigeon peas, which resembles the yellow split peas a lot but a lot smaller. Legumes, lentils, and pulses belong to the same family. We Indians make them more often than anyone else I would say. Dal or lentil curry is a staple of Indian cuisine and can be easily made vegan if you choose to not use ghee or any dairy products. And, Toor dal is the most common Indian dal out there.

Toor dal dry in a cup

Even though I was a dal-hater as a child, I grew up eating dal almost every week. Slowly and gradually, I fell in love with this yellow, soup-like lentil stew or curry. In the eastern province of India, we cook dals with lots of veggies and temper it with fiery-hot red chilies and cumin seeds. A mild taste of asafetida, fresh cilantro and a dash of roasted cumin powder make our Odia Dalma really very flavorful. But that’s not the recipe I am going to share here.

Six types of toor dal

Here I have a basic Toor dal (split pigeon peas) recipe, which can be easily made in the instant pot. And, I will show you how to flavor your toor dal in five to six ways so that you have enough choices to select from while making your next batch of dal.

Is Yellow Dal and Toor Dal the Same?

Six different toor dal recipes

Most Indian yellow dals are made from the toor dal or moong dal. Usually, the everyday dals made in Indian households are lighter than a traditional dal fry or dal makhani. This simple dal is typically a healthier lentil curry and is often served with rice, roti or both.

If you don’t know how to kickstart cooking lentils in the instant pot, here is my post on it and a quick red lentil coconut curry.

Tadka for kadhi dal

Unlike the restaurant versions, the homemade toor dal is not very spicy. It almost always have fresh ginger or garlic or even both, cumin or mustard tempered in oil, mild spices (turmeric, red chili powder and coriander powder) and fresh leafy herbs like chopped cilantro or curry leaves. A bowl of spiced dal tastes best with rice in my opinion. But you can serve it with rotis, naans, khichdi, or just eat it without anything on the side. 

The variety of dal shown here is: Simple dal, North Indian dal fry, south Indian sambar, spinach dal, South Indian dal, and dal tadka.

Toor dal in six ways

This comforting dal takes just 15-minutes from start to finish. If cooking in the instant pot, you will have some wait time till the pressure valve drops on its own. In short, you will have a delicious pot of toor dal ready in just 30-minutes. 

Tips for cooking Indian Toor Dal:

  • Always clean the lentil before making a dal. Clean the dal in running water or soak it in water for five minutes and rinse the dal in running water. Rinsing the dal removes dirt, grime and unwanted particles in the split pigeon peas or Toor dal. 
  • Soak the dal for 15 to 30 minutes for quicker cooking. Soaking also helps to reduce the gas-causing plant compounds found in the lentils.
  • Always add the tempering in the end. While it is easy to saute the cumin seeds, add soaked dal and spices and pressure cook, but adding the tempered seeds and herbs, in the end, adds a punch of spicy flavor to the dal. If you saute the seeds and spices in the beginning, save half of it to use it later. In that way, you don’t have to temper the seeds again. 
  • Add flavors – asafetida, roasted cumin powder, lime juice, and roasted chili powder are some of the best flavor additives that you can use to spice up your toor dal. 

This dal is so flavorful and comforting that you will want to make it again and again. Plus, it has tremendous health benefits. Read more about the health benefits of toor dal. Here is the basic version of the toor dal and an additional six variations with recipes that you can use while making your dal.

How to Cook Toor Dal?

how to make toor dal in the instant pot

Ingredients:

Toor dal – 1 cup(washed, rinsed and soaked in two cups of filtered water), 1 large red or yellow onion, finely chopped, two medium Roma tomatoes, chopped, 5 green chilies slit or minced, 2-inch ginger, finely minced, ½ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp cooking oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp turmeric ground, ¼ tsp asafetida and salt to taste

Method:

  • Set your instant pot to a sauté mode and allow it to heat. When the digital display indicates “hot,” add the cooking oil followed by cumin seeds and asafetida.
  • Allow the cumin seeds to brown and infuse their flavors in the hot oil. Now add ginger and green chilies and mix really well.
  • Add chopped onions and salt. Allow the onions to brown a little. Now save half of this mixture and add tomatoes to the rest half.
  • Add soaked toor dal, turmeric and mix well. Seal the vent and secure the lid. Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes.
  • After the pressure cooking time, wait for natural pressure release. Now open the lid and gently mash the dal and vegetables.
  • Add more water if required and adjust salt if necessary. Add the remaining onion tadka mixture and give the dal a quick boil.
  • Switch off the instant pot and add fresh cilantro to the dal.
  • Serve with hot rice. 

Simple south Indian Sambar:

South Indian Sambar
  • Use mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chili and asafetida to temper
  • Add sambar powder, tamarind pulp, and mixed vegetables to dal and pressure cook.
  • Garnish with the tempered seeds and curry leaves

North Indian Dal Fry:

North Indian dal fry
  • To hot ghee, add cumin seeds to temper, add spices – turmeric, coriander, chili powder, and garam masala.
  • Add ginger and garlic, followed by chopped onions and tomatoes. Allow the veggies to become mushy and then add cooked dal, and adjust the consistency by adding more water. Bring the dal to a boil, and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Spinach dal:

Spinach dal
  • Temper either cumin or mustard seeds in hot oil or ghee
  • To the tempered seed, add 1 tbsp grated ginger, 2 cups of chopped spinach and allow it to wilt.
  • Add 2 cups of cooked toor dal, spices – turmeric, chili powder and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Serve with lime juice.

Dal Tadka:

Dal tadka
  • Temper cumin or mustard seeds and dried red chili in hot oil.
  • Add a pinch of asafoetida and 2 cups of cooked dal.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil. This is a non-spicy, simple dal tadka.

Simple Dal:

Simple dal
  • Temper mustard seeds in hot oil, and add chopped green chilies.
  • Add cooked tool dal with tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Garnish with cilantro and lime juice before serving.

South Indian Dal:

South Indian dal
  • Cook dal with tamarind and green chilies.
  • To the hot oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions and a cup of water.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil. Garnish with cilantro.

Storing – I always store my freshly made toor dal for three days. I prefer to make fresh dal than storing cooking dal for long. Remember that toor dal tends to thicken when refrigerated. Therefore, always add water while reheating toor dal. 

Tasty toor dal

Toor Dal (How to Make Indian Toor Dal)

Some warm and comforting tool dal? And in six different flavors? Oh, yes! Thanks to the instant pot, now I cook my Indian dal in just minutes.
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: 30-minute vegan dinner, easy instant pot, how to cook lentil in instant pot, instant pot toor dal, toor dal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 188kcal
Author: Sophie
Cost: $4

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Toor Dal (washed, rinsed and soaked in two cups of filtered water)
  • 1 large red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 green chilies slit or minced
  • 2 inch ginger, finely minced
  • 1/2 Cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 Tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp tsp turmeric ground
  • 1/4 Tsp asafetida and salt to taste

Instructions

  • Set your instant pot to a sauté mode and allow it to heat. When the digital display indicates “hot,” add the cooking oil followed by cumin seeds and asafetida.
  • Allow the cumin seeds to brown and infuse their flavors in the hot oil. 
  • Now add ginger and green chilies and mix really well. 
  • Add chopped onions and salt. Allow the onions to brown a little. Now save half of this mixture and add tomatoes to the rest half. 
  • Add soaked toor dal, turmeric and mix well. Seal the vent and secure the lid. 
  • Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes. After the pressure cooking time, wait for natural pressure release. 
  • Now open the lid and gently mash the dal and vegetables. Add more water if required and adjust salt if necessary. 
  • Add the remaining onion tadka mixture and give the dal a quick boil. 
  • Switch off the instant pot and add fresh cilantro to the dal. Serve with hot rice.

South Indian Sambar

  • Use mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chili and asafetida to temper.Add sambar powder, tamarind pulp, and mixed vegetables to dal and pressure cook. Garnish with the tempered seeds and curry leaves.

North Indian Dal Fry:

  • To hot ghee, add cumin seeds to temper, add spices – turmeric, coriander, chili powder, and garam masala. Add ginger and garlic, followed by chopped onions and tomatoes. Allow the veggies to become mushy and then add cooked dal, and adjust the consistency by adding more water. Bring the dal to a boil, and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Spinach dal:

  • Temper either cumin or mustard seeds in hot oil or ghee. To the tempered seed, add 1 tbsp grated ginger, 2 cups of chopped spinach and allow it to wilt. Add 2 cups of cooked toor dal, spices – turmeric, chili powder and bring the mixture to a boil. Serve with lime juice.

Dal Tadka:

  • Temper cumin or mustard seeds and dried red chili in hot oil. Add a pinch of asafoetida and 2 cups of cooked dal. Bring the mixture to a boil. This is a non-spicy, simple dal tadka.

Simple Dal:

  • Temper mustard seeds in hot oil, and add chopped green chilies. Add cooked tool dal with tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice before serving.

South Indian Dal:

  • Cook dal with tamarind and green chilies. To the hot oil, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions and a cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Garnish with cilantro.
Find us on Pinterest!Follow MyDaintySoulCurry!
Check our YouTube recipe videos!Here is MyDaintySoulCurry Channel!

Notes

  • I always store my freshly made toor dal for three days. I prefer to make fresh dal than storing cooking dal for long.
  • Remember that toor dal tends to thicken when refrigerated. Therefore, always add water while reheating toor dal.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Mydainty_soulcurry or tag #mydaintysoulcurry!

Nutrition

Serving: 220g | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 4g
Let’s stay connected!Follow @MyDaintySoul!
Six types of Indian dal using toor dal

You may also like

10 comments

Sharon January 28, 2020 - 10:38 am

5 stars
This toor dal recipe made six ways makes sure that I can have a delicious lunch or dinner on hand without getting tired of the same flavors.

Reply
Pam Greer January 30, 2020 - 1:02 pm

5 stars
I can’t wait to try al these variations! Each one sounds amazing and so full of flavor! Perfect for my instant pot!

Reply
Analida Braeger January 30, 2020 - 8:09 pm

5 stars
My family loves spicy dishes and this one was a hit! Thanks so much for sharing!

Reply
Aleta January 30, 2020 - 10:20 pm

5 stars
I am always looking for new instant pot recipes to try, and this one has been added to the list. I love all the different ways to make it!

Reply
GUNJAN C Dudani January 31, 2020 - 2:28 pm

5 stars
I have a big bag of toor dal and was looking for a variety of ways to cook. Your post is really helpful so trying it all .

Reply
kita January 31, 2020 - 10:18 pm

5 stars
This sounds so incredibly comforting – and the aromas! Amazing. The tamarind and green chili additions I am swooning over.

Reply
Loreto Mardelli February 2, 2020 - 11:39 am

5 stars
As O was reading your post I had the sensation of aroma wafting in my nose. That Dal looks do amazing and the fact that it was done in an instant pot amazing. The garnishing is beautiful and as a Dal lover you have really enticed me to want this!😍.
Thanks for all the wonderful Dal knowledge!🙏

Reply
Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness February 2, 2020 - 12:50 pm

5 stars
It;s funny how that happens. There are so many things that I didn’t like as a kid and love now as an adult. This sounds so tasty!!

Reply
Jenni LeBaron February 2, 2020 - 5:26 pm

5 stars
I love that you’ve included 6 different ways for making this delicious dish! These Toor Dals will be particularly delicious in a group where you can try a little bit of everything end enjoy the fun of sharing a big spread!

Reply
Debbie February 2, 2020 - 6:07 pm

5 stars
I have never tried Toor Dal but you really make me want to try this yummy dish. I love that you simplified and made it six different ways. I will be trying this soon.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. I Agree Read More