Jun 3, 2009

Everyday dal

In Indian households dal and sabzi are accompanied by rotis (wheat tortillas). But yesterday I wasn’t in the mood to make rotis. Besides, my 3-year old likes his dal with a dosa and my 34-year old hubby doesn’t like dal but likes his dosa with aloo (potato) sabzi. Luckily, I had some store bought dosa batter in my fridge and I had already made dal in the morning. I only had to make aloo sabzi and dinner was ready to be served. The toor dal I use in this recipe is also called tuver dal or split pigeon peas. Here is the recipe which I make in my trusty 3-litre Hawkins Pressure Cooker.

Toor Dal


½ cup toor dal
1 tomato, chopped
1 slit and chopped green chili or 1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp garam masala powder or any other masala powder at home
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp asafetida
A pinch of sugar or a small lump of jiggery
Salt to taste

Soak the toor dal in 2 cups of water for 3-5 hours.
Heat oil in the pressure cooker and add mustard seeds. Turn the heat to low when they start to crackle and pop.
Add the green chilli, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, asafetida and the garam masala. Roast for one minute till the raw spice smell is replaced by the fragrance of the spices.
Add the chopped tomato and cover the cooker with a lid for five minutes. Bring up the gas flame to medium. The tomatoes will soften and release their liquid.
Add the soaked toor dal and add salt. Stir, add one cup of water and cover the cooker lid.
Turn off the heat after 3 whistles. Let the cooker cool down before opening it and transferring to another vessel. If the dal is too thick, add some water and boil. Garnish with coriander before serving.
Now, the only reason I transfer the dal to another vessel is so I can rinse it out and boil the potatoes for the sabzi. But if you are not going to make the sabzi, keep the dal in the cooker till you are ready to serve.

Aloo sabzi recipe coming up in the next post.


  1. Wonderfully simple, yet delicious dal! I don't have a pressure cooker though, so boiling the dal (specially toor dal) is a tediously long process :( Will try soaking it overnight next time. Any other suggestions?

    PS - Also checked out your methi dal, looks so tempting! Please add more varieties if possible :)

  2. Aditya,

    Suggestions if you don't have a pressure cooker.

    1. Buy, beg, borrow or steal one! Indian cooking without a pressure cooker, I don't even want to think about it!

    2. If not in the mood to do the above, use moong or masoor dal, which are easier to cook than toor, do not need to be soaked overnight, and cook relatively fast on the cooktop.

    I think I have two kinds of masoor dal on the blog and some legume recipes too. Check the labels at the bottom left of the blog. If you have anything specific you want to cook and need suggestions, email me or shoot me another comment. I will try my best to help. :)

  3. Suggestion no. 1 will be implemented asap! It was always a mistake to leave India without a pressure cooker, but well I thought I couldn't use it. However, now that I am a little more confident about cooking, a pressure cooker is on top of my wish list!

    Every weekend I'm gonna try out one of your dal recipes...thanks so much for this incredible database of recipes! Will surely write to you if I have questions :)


Thank you for visiting my space. I miss my former editors, so any form of criticism/ appreciation is welcome. :)

Possibly related posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails