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Instant Pot Chana Dal. Hearty, comforting, and nutritious, this chana dal is cooked home-style. Bengal gram lentil is cooked with tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, fresh chilies, and spices. An aromatic tempering of garlic and chili powder makes this lentil dish finger-licking.
Why we love this recipe,
It's pretty comforting and filling- If you do not have time to cook any rice, roti, or salad type of side with this, you are good. This lentil dish is itself a lovely main course. You will feel full and delighted with those excellent, incredible flavors.
Simple to make- The recipe for making this dal is pretty straight. Instant Pot is fun to cook, making it a quick meal.
Uses very few Ingredients;- Uses staples from pantry and fridge.
Meal prep and freezer friendly- Store this dish in freezer-friendly single-serve boxes after it comes to room temperature. Just before serving, warm it in the Microwave oven and help with any side or just like that.
Chana Dal-Bengal gram lentils or spilled chickpeas are the other names for this lentil. It's a little bit bigger then the yellow lentil, and its color is darker yellow, with more of an orangish side. It takes a little longer to cook then yellow or red lentils. I usually soak it for some time before cooking.
Oil/Ghee- Using ghee always increases the taste of the dal. Feel free to use it if you are not vegan, or I use avocado oil for my dal.
Red Chili Powder
Garam masala, lime juice, cilantro leaves.
Bay leaf, cinnamon, big cardamom, small green cardamon
What is Dal?
Dal is a type of lentil dish that is quite quintessential to the whole of India. Deep-rooted in our society, not one home meal goes without any lentils. North India celebrates lentils as dal and curries, south as sambar, a different type of dal, rasam, and tempering. They are a protein powerhouse and a perfect replacement for meat for vegan or vegetarian people across the country.
You May want to check out some of my popular lentils,
How to cook Chana Dal in the Instant Pot?
Soaking chana dal for 30 minutes is essential. It takes less time to cook that way and gives a nice creamy feel without losing the texture.
First, cook the chana dal with turmeric, salt, and oil. Adding two drops of oil is an old trick for not making bubbles while cooking/boiling lentils.
The next step is adding onion and tomato and tempering with a spicy kick. We will make a wonderfully aromatic dal by adding this lovely tempering.
Making this dal and eating it hot with some rice, a dollop of ghee(if you are not vegan), and a spoonful of pickle will send you into a food coma.
Instant Pot Chana Dal
- 1 Cup Chana Dal/Split yellow lentil
- 3 Cups Water for soaking the lentil
- ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tsp Oil
- 2.5 Cups water for cooking /boiling the lentil
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Small Onion chopped
- 1 Small Tomato ,chopped
- 4+1 Cloves+tsp Garlic and Ginger Chopped
- 1 Fresh Green /Red Chili ,chopped
- 1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- ½ Tsp Asafoetida Powder
- 2 Dry Red Chilies
- 1 1 Inch Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Small Bay Leaves
- 2 Black Cardamom
- 1 Tbsp Oil/Ghee
- 1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
- 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
- Wash Chana DAl and soak for 30 minutes in 3 cups of water.
- Remove the water and turn on the saute mode on the instant pot.
- Add oil and when it displays hot add cumin seeds ,Fresh chili and asafoetida powder.Let cumin seeds crackle.
- Add cinnamon stick ,black cardamom and bay leaves.
- Stir them once and add chopped onion ,garlic and ginger to the pot.
- Let them cook till they look transparent and the raw smell is gone.
- Add chopped tomato ,salt ,turmeric to the pot and cook till everything looks like a soft masala paste .Oil will be released.
- This will take 5-6 minutes.
- Add dal and 2.5 cups of water to the Instant Pot .
- Mix them using a spatula.
- Cancel the saute button.
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot.
- Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Remove the lid ,mix lime juice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
- Remove the dal to a serving bowl.Keep it aside.
- Take a small pan and heat oil /ghee.
- When its hot add chopped garlic and let it become olden.
- Add red chili powder and pour immediately over the dal.
- Red chili powder burns quickly and gives a bitter burning taste so do not cook that .Pour it immediately.
- Enjoy with roti ,rice or just like that.
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Confused about the 4+1 measure. Can you clarify now much each of cloves,garlic & ginger are needed? Thank you!
It says 4 cloves garlic and 1 inch ginger root . I will edit it to make more clear .
Hope it helps.
Kay de Vogel says
How an we adapt the Chana Dal recipeif we don't have an Instant Pot?
Please follow the same recipe in a deep heavy bottomed pan.You can easily cook this dal on stove top .It will take more ,around 30 minutes on low /medium flame .Stir constantly to prevent sticking to the bottom.Supervision is required as well.
happy cooking !!!
Kay de Vogel says
Thank you, can't wait to try it