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Spicy Urad Dal (Black Lentil Dal)

Spicy urad dal- black dal  is a flavorful way to enjoy a hearty protein packed meal any night of the week. This easy Instant Pot recipe cooks up in less than 30 minutes and needs very little prep time. If you are looking for a bold blend of spices that you and your family will adore, then you should make this dal tonight!

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spicy urad dal- black lentil

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What is Urad Dal?

Urad dal, while commonly called a lentil, is not actually a lentil. Instead this actually refers to a black gram.

Black gram is a pulse related to mung beans and cowpeas. Like lentils, they pack tons of protein.

They originated in India. Many people still cook them in India in dishes like this spicy urad dal or dal makhani.

spicy urad dal

Why you’ll love this spicy urad dal

You’ll love this bold dish not just for its mouthwatering blend of spices and depth of flavor but also for its wholesome heartiness. This is a plant-based protein packed meal between the black gram and the chickpeas. With its high protein count, you and your family will be pleasantly full and satisfied after enjoying this perfectly spiced dish.

Not only is it wholesome and delicious, but you can make this quickly and easily thanks to your Instant Pot. The pressure cooker makes preparing this a snap so you can enjoy it whenever you want!

spicy urad dal- black lentil

What you’ll need

When you are hungry for this spicy urad dal, you’ll need to get the following ingredients:

  • Black gram dal / split urad dal
  • Chana dal- chickpeas
  • Ghee or oil - Use oil to make this vegan
  • Seasonings - You’ll need cumin seeds, dry bay leaf, turmeric powder, red chili powder, dried fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi, cumin/coriander powder, and salt (to taste)
  • Onion - You can use either yellow or white.
  • Herbs - You’ll need fresh chopped ginger and cilantro.
  • Garlic cloves - You’ll need to chop these.
  • Tomatoes -  finely chopped or you could use tomato paste
  • Water

How to make

Once you have the ingredients ready to go, here is what you need to do to make this spicy urad dal.

  • First, wash and rinse the urad dal and chana dal and set them aside.

spicy urad dal step by step instruction

  • Next, turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot. When it reads hot, add the oil or ghee, bay leaves, and cumin seeds.
  • Once the cumin seeds start to crackle, add the ginger, garlic, and dried fenugreek leaves and give the spices a quick stir.
  • Next, add in the chopped onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion becomes soft.

spicy urad dal step by step instruction (2)

  • When the onions are ready, add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, and cumin  or coriander powder and stir to mix.
  • Next, add the lentils (dal) and stir well to mix. Finally, add the water.
  • Once the water is added, cancel the sauté function on the Instant Pot and secure the lid.
  • When the lid is locked in place, press the pressure cook function and set it for for 20 minutes. Make sure the vent is set to sealing.

spicy urad dal step by step instruction (2)

  • Once the timer goes off, turn the vent to open and allow the pressure to escape.
  • After the pressure has released, open the lid and stir the dal well. At this point, if it appears too thick, you can add some water until it reaches a better consistency.
  • Before serving, garnish the dal with chopped cilantro. Finally, serve it with hot paratha, garlic naan, jeera rice or roti. Enjoy!

Pro tips and tricks

The Instant Pot cooks lentils incredibly fast, which makes it a great weeknight dinner. If you are new to lentils or the Instant Pot, follow these tips and tricks for the best results:

  • Make sure you thoroughly wash the lentils to remove any debris or dust that may be on them.
  • To avoid overcooking the dal, make sure you do a quick release as soon as the pressure cooking is done.
  • Use oil to make this spicy version of dal vegan.
  • Don’t forget to set the vent to sealing so the pressure can build up.

spicy urad dal

How to serve

This recipe makes a great weeknight or weekend dinner that your whole family will love. When serving, you can prepare some jeera rice

To scoop it up, we also recommend serving it with naan, paratha, or roti. Both are great options to get every last bite of these delicious, spicy black lentils.

spicy urad dal

How to store

To store, allow the dal to cool to room temperature. Once it is cool, scoop it into an air tight container. When you’ve closed the lid, place the container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

When you are ready to serve the black lentil dal, remove it from the fridge and place in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. You can also gently warm it on the stove top over low heat in a small saucepan. You just need to heat it until it has warmed through.

spicy urad dal

Is this vegan?

You can make this either vegetarian or vegan. To make it vegan, use oil instead of ghee. 

Is urad dal healthy?

Yes! Urad dal is packed full of lentils, which are full of nutrients like protein and fiber. And we find this recipe is a very tasty way to get your kids to eat lentils more often. This is truly a meal you can feel good about serving your family any night of the week.

spicy urad dal

Other recipes you will love

If you love this recipe, then you should check out some of our other favorites. Here are some of our favorite recipes you should try this week:

Let us know what you think

Spicy urad dal is a great way to enjoy lentils that your kids will definitely enjoy. When you make this recipe, don’t forget to let us know what you think! Be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind

spicy urad dal

Spicy Urad Dal (Black Lentil Dal)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Spicy urad dal is a flavorful way to enjoy a hearty protein packed meal any night of the week. This easy Instant Pot recipe cooks up in less than 30 minutes and needs very little prep time. If you are looking for a bold blend of spices that you and your family will adore, then you should make this dal tonight!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup split Black gram dal / split urad dal
  • 1/2 cup Chana dal
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee or oil.
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 Dry bay leaves
  • 3 Garlic cloves/ chopped.
  • 1 Medium onion/ finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoon Chopped cilantro (garnish)
  • 2 teaspoon Red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 2 medium Tomatoes/ finely chopped - or 2 tablespoon tomato paste.
  • 1 tablespoon Dried fenugreek leaves /Kasoori methi -
  • 2 teaspoon Cumin/coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups Water- (add additional after the dal is cooked to get the desired consistency)

Instructions

  1. First, wash and rinse the urad dal and chana dal and set them aside.
  2. Next, turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot. When it reads hot, add the oil or ghee, bay leaves, and cumin seeds.
  3. Once the cumin seeds start to crackle, add the ginger, garlic, and dried fenugreek leaves and give the spices a quick stir.
  4. Next, add in the chopped onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion becomes soft
  5. When the onions are ready, add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, and cumin  or coriander powder and stir to mix.
  6. Next, add the lentils (dal) and stir well to mix. Finally, add the water.
  7. Once the water is added, cancel the sauté function on the Instant Pot and secure the lid.
  8. When the lid is locked in place, press the pressure cook function and set it for for 20 minutes. Make sure the vent is set to sealing.
  9.  Once the timer goes off, turn the vent to open and allow the pressure to escape.
  10. After the pressure has released, open the lid and stir the dal well. At this point, if it appears too thick, you can add some water until it reaches a better consistency.
  11. Before serving, garnish the dal with chopped cilantro. Finally, serve it with hot paratha, garlic naan, jeera rice or roti. Enjoy!

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Angela

Friday 19th of March 2021

I love lentils but don't cook them often. I love that they cook so fast in the instant pot. So many great spices in this recipe. I will definitely be making it again soon.

Beth

Friday 19th of March 2021

I can't believe how easy this is. I'll certainly be making it again. Totally yummy!

Pam

Friday 19th of March 2021

This recipe is so full of flavor and I love that you can make it ahead and heat right before serving.

Aimee Mars

Friday 19th of March 2021

Okay, I never knew that about dal before! I've never made it myself, but your recipe looks super easy and I love that it utilizes the Instant Pot. I'm definitely adding this to next week's meal plan.

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