toor dal in instant pot

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By C C
from Seattle, WA

Toor dal dishes can be ultimate hearty yet healthy comfort food that’s easy to keep ready waiting for people to dish up a warm bowl of. This is one of my very favorite versions. So flavorful! After experimenting with my favorite spices, this is the version my family & I want to have over & over.

method Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Ingredients For toor dal in instant pot

  • 2 c
    toor dal (yellow split pea/ split yellow pidgeon pea)
  • 1-2
    onions, chopped
  • 4
    swiss chard, stalks & leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp
    fresh garlic (puree, minced or pressed is fine)
  • 1 inch
    piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1
    indian bay leaf (tej patta, cinnamomum tamala)
  • 1 tsp
    nigella seeds, whole
  • 1 tsp
    mustard seed, whole
  • 2 tsp
    ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp
    cayenne
  • 1-2 tsp
    turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    salt
  • 2 Tbsp
    chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 can
    (400 ml) coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 2 1/3 c
    water

How To Make toor dal in instant pot

  • 1
    Substitutions note: You may skip the Indian bay leaf (it has a mild cinnamon-like aroma), nigella seed & mustard seed if necessary. You may replace the nigella seed with cumin (whole or ground), if that’s what you have. It will be different, but still tasty. If you are avoiding seeds and nightshades, leave out cumin, nigella, coriander seed, mustard seed, and cayenne. Try adding a ceylon cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves or a pinch of ground clove, maybe a bit of mace, and some freshly minced galangal root sprinkled on top for a floral peppery kick. In other words, feel free to experiment around with spices you *can* have, with this dish. You are welcome to omit the Swiss chard or add other similar veggies. It’s a lovely, healthy addition to the dish, though.
  • 2
    If you are on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, soak the yellow split peas 8 hours or overnight in a large pot of water, then discard the soak water & rinse, before using in the recipe. You may need to reduce the water you add to the recipe to account for the water absorbed by soaking. Maybe weigh your yellow split peas before & after soaking, to determine amount of water they absorbed. I’ll update once I test it myself. Optional step: Dry pan toast the yellow split peas over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. (This is a step I learned from the chef Mulunesh Belay’s wonderful cook book: Ethiopian Feast.)
  • 3
    Transfer split peas to a colander & rinse well, checking for any stones or debris.
  • 4
    Add some olive oil to the instant pot, and then sauté onions and Swiss chard on sauté mode for a bit. Add the spices, letting them heat in some olive oil for a bit. Then add coconut cream, water & yellow split peas.
  • 5
    Cook on high pressure 4 minutes, with a quick manual pressure release once done.
  • 6
    Delicious served with cucumbers and chutney. Mixed nuts may be sprinkled on top, if desired. Other options for those not on restricted diets, are naan bread, rice, yogurt sauce, etc.
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