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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.
4.92 from 12 votes
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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


  • Instant pot


  • 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
  • ½ Cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon tsp turmeric ground
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida and salt to taste


  • 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 tablespoon 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.


  • 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.


Serving: 220g | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 4g