Hungry for Indian take but don't feel like running out? This Indian Toor Dal Instant Pot Recipe is an easy Indian recipe made with yellow split pigeon peas, and aromatic spices all cooked in an Instant Pot pressure cooker.
This Instant Pot method makes a quick and nutritious dinner your whole family will enjoy in about 20 minutes, so you won't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Why You Will Enjoy This Recipe
- Delishious: This easy recipe has several aromatic spices that are tempered to help draw out the flavor of all the spices.
- Easy: This Instant Pot method makes a quick and nutritious dinner your whole family will enjoy, and you won't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Dinner will be ready in under 30 minutes.
What Is Toor Dal?
Toor dal is translated in English to pigeon peas. It is a common comfort food dish found in Indian cuisine. The flavor comes from the nutty-flavored split pigeon peas. They are pressure-cooked until tender and infused with aromatic spice. Toor dal is commonly served over plain white rice. There are also endless variations with the addition of vegetables added.
Is dal good for you?
A simple dal is a naturally vegan recipe and gluten-free. It is a great source of proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals. Also, lentils contain a broad range of beneficial plant compounds called phytochemicals. These compounds help protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
What Spices Are In Toor Dal?
It's best to start with whole spices and grind them fresh. This will infuse the most flavors into your dish. However, if they are already ground, then it is fine.
- Ground coriander seeds
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves, not the kind prechut in a jar.
- Cumin powder
- Fenugreek: Ground powder
- Garam masala
- Ginger: It really makes a difference when you use fresh ginger. Peel and mince fine.
- Red chilies flakes: If you want some extra heat, sprinkle the flakes on top of your Dal just before serving.
- Cilantro: Wash and finly chop cilantro leaves. Sprinkle on top just before serving. It balances the heat and savory coconut flavored Toor Dal.
⭐️ Full list of ingredients are in the recipe card below.
Instant Pot Instructions
Step 1: Wash the split pigeon peas by rinsing it in a colander. Set aside rinsed split pigeon peas.
Step 2: Push the pressure cook button to saute, and heat coconut oil for 30 seconds. Next, add garlic to hot coconut oil and saute for 1 minute.
Step 3. Stir in the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, fenugreek powder, and turmeric. Set on saute function for one minute, continually stirring. This is called tempering, and it helps draw out the flavors of the spices.
Step 4: Add the fresh ginger, salt, lentils, cayenne, coconut milk, and vegetable broth.
Step 5: Lock the pressure cooker lid in place. Set Instant Pot to high pressure for 15 minutes cook time. When done, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes. The dal will continue to cook during this time. At 10 minutes, quick release the pressure valve for the remaining pressure.
What is the consistency of dal when done?
Dal is done when it is completely soft and has a rough purée consistency. For a smooth, creamy texture, use an immersion blender stick for 30 seconds. If you prefer a bit more texture, beat it with a whisk for a minute to a porridge-like consistency.
How To Make Spicy Toor Dal
If you like your food spicy, add another 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper when tempering your spices. You could also top it with red chili flakes when serving.
How To Serve Toor Dal
This Indian food is traditionally served over plain white rice, basmati rice, or brown rice. It would be excellent over Instant Pot Coconut Rice. It is also common in an Indian household to eat it with flatbread, such as my Whole Wheat Naan.
Smart Shortcut: If you are pinched for time, purchase an already cooked bag of rice. The rice puch is heated for 90 minutes in your microwave.
Questions and Tips For Toor Dal (Split Yellow Pigeon Peas)
According to Wikipedia, pigeon peas are a perennial legume from the family Fabaceae. Since its domestication in the Indian subcontinent at least 3,500 years ago, its seeds have become common in Indian cooking. Yellow pigeon peas lentils are yellow-colored lentils that are flat on one side, and oblong in shape. Pigeon pea is commonly known as arhar dal or split toor (tuvar) dal. They are a great source of proteins.
Yellow split peas and yellow pigeon peas are both legumes. However, split peas and lentils come from different varieties of legumes. Split peas are a type of field pea, which is a pea grown specifically for drying, while lentils are their own type of legume, harvested as the seed of the plant and dried.
Soaking is recommended if you have a stomach issue with beans or lentils. Soaking gets rid of indigestible proteins present in lentils. However, if you presoak your lentils, you will want to cut your pressure cooking time by 1/2 for this recipe.
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Indian Toor Dal Instant Pot Recipe With Rice
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- 2 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal plain) dried
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander ground powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek ground powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons ginger fresh, chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional add more if you like it spicy
- 1 15 oz coconut milk with cream can
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 3 dates chopped for topping
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped for topping
- 1/4 cup coconut unsweetened shredded for topping
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- Wash the split pigeon peas by rinsing them in a colander. Set aside.2 cup split pigeon peas
- Push the pressure cook button to saute, and heat coconut oil for 30 seconds. Next, add garlic to hot coconut oil and sautee for 1 minute.2 tablespoons coconut oil, 5 cloves garlic
- Stir in the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, fenugreek, and turmeric. Saute for one minute, continually stirring. This is called tempering, and it helps draw out the flavors of the spices.1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon turmeric
- Add the fresh ginger, salt, pigeon peas, cayenne, coconut milk, and vegetable broth.2 cup split pigeon peas, 2 tablespoons ginger, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 15 oz coconut milk with cream, 6 cups vegetable broth
- Lock the pressure cooker lid in place. Set Instant Pot to high pressure for 15 minutes cook time. When done, allow the pressure to naturally release for about 10 minutes. The dal will continue to cook during this time. At 10 minutes, quick release the pressure valve for the remaining pressure.
- Serve over rice and top with chopped fresh cilantro, coconut flakes, and chopped dates.3 dates, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup coconut
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This was a lovely but you don't list how much ground coriander to add, it's missing from the ingredients list (I guessed 1tsp). Also it says fenugreek, but not what kind. Leaves, whole seeds, ground seed powder? I guessed ground seeds. Was that right?
Toby, Thank you so much for pointing out the changes I need to make to the ingredients. I appreciate it. This was an older post so I went in and made the changes you suggested and added a few more things that might help someone make this recipe. I have put it on my list of recipes to reshoot and update with step-by-step how-to photos. Again, thank you for taking the time to comment.
That's great. Thank you.