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Toor Dal

Toor dal is a bold, delectable meal that's absolutely packed with protein and fiber. Since it's so loaded with filling protein and fiber, no one in your family will go away hungry when you serve this for them. And thanks to the Instant Pot, our version of this recipe makes clean up easy and decreases the total cook time, so you can have this ready in less than an hour!

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toor dal and rice

This Recipe's Index

What is Toor Dal? 

Toor dal is a traditional dish that uses pigeon peas. It is a dish that can vary greatly from region to region or even house to house in India. You may find richer, heavier versions or lighter versions made with less fat. You’ll also find that some people like their toor dal a bit soupier while others like it a bit chunkier.

Our toor dal has a tangy goodness that you will love with the first bite.

Ours also uses the Instant Pot for an easy one-pot meal that comes together very quickly. You can make this just about any night of the week.

And if you serve your dal with rice (and who doesn’t?), you can use the pot-in-pot method to cook your rice as you cook the rest of the recipe. Talk about an easy meal!

Toor Dal Recipe Video

Is Toor Dal high in protein?

Yes, toor dal is very high in protein. Pigeon peas, which we use in our recipe, contain over 40 grams of protein in one cup

They also have over 30 grams of fiber in one cup.

Both these nutrients are very good for you and very filling, which means no one in your family will go away hungry. 

And for vegans, it is a great way to get extra protein in your diet.

ingredients to make toor dal

What  Ingredients Do I need?

When you want to make toor dal, you’ll need ingredients for the toor dal recipe itself and a delicious tempering.

Here’s what you will need for the toor dal:

  • pigeon pea, toor, or arhar dal
  • red chili powder 
  • coriander powder 
  • turmeric powder 
  • garam masala 
  • curry leaves 
  • ginger garlic paste - you can make this fresh or get a store-bought paste for ease
  • tomato puree 
  • slit green chilies 
  • tomatoes 
  • chopped cilantro - this is added as a garnish
  • salt to taste
  • water 
  • tamarind 

For the Tadka or tempering, you’ll also need:

  • Ghee or oil - use oil if you want to make this vegan
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cumin 
  • Garlic gloves 
  • Whole dried red chilies
  • Curry leaves 

Finally, you’ll need a cup of basmati rice for the pot in pot rice. Rice is a great way to soak in all the flavors and help make the meal even more filling.

 

How to cook Toor Dal?

First, prepare the ingredients by washing and soaking the dal for 30 minutes, soaking the tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes, and chopping the tomatoes.

Once the dal has soaked, drain it and add it to the pot followed by the ginger garlic paste, turmeric, tomatoes, salt, and water. Give the mixture a stir.

steps to make toor dal

If you are making the pot in pot rice, follow this step. First, place the trivet in the inner pot with the dal. Next, place a stainless steel pot that contains the rice and water. Finally, cover it with a steel lid so the dal doesn’t splutter onto the rice.

Next, close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook for 6 minutes and follow the cook time with a natural release of pressure.

how to make toor dal

As the dal cooks, strain the pulp of the tamarind and set it aside.

Once the dal has cooked, carefully open the lid. Blend the dal using a hand blender or whisk.

Next, add the slit green chillies, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, tamarind pulp, curry leaves, and give it a stir. Adjust the consistency of the dal by adding more water, based on your liking.

Finally, use the sauté function to bring the dal to boil. Serve with the rice and naan.

For the tadka or tempering, you’ll need to heat oil or ghee in a tadka or small saucepan.

how to cook toor dal

Once heated, add the asafetida, mustard, and cumin and allow it to splutter. Next, add the garlic, whole dried chillies, and curry leaves and allow it all to crackle.

You can make this right before serving so you can pour the tadka onto the dal right before serving.

Pro tips and tricks

When you make this toor dal, here are some tips and tricks to make your life easier and make the perfect meal:

  • Make sure to soak the dal for at least 30 minutes before starting.
  • Also, be sure to soak the tamarind in warm water for at least 20 minutes before starting.
  • If you don’t have a second Instant Pot, use the pot-in-pot method to make the rice.
  • Use oil to make this recipe vegan.

Toor dal in a bowl

What to Serve with Toor Dal?

We love to serve toor dal with rice. For this recipe, we will use the pot-in-pot cooking method to make perfect rice every time in the Instant Pot. If you prefer, you can make a separate batch of basmati or even jeera rice if you prefer.

We also serve our toor dal with freshly made roti or naan. It is a great way to soak up all the gravy and really enjoy every last drop.

If you are feeding a large crowd or a hungry family, you could also try pairing the toor dal with some of these other tasty recipes:

And for dessert, you can’t go wrong with either of these delectable options:

Toor Dal Recipe

How to store Toor Dal?

To store toor dal, allow it to cool completely. Once it has cooled, scoop it into an airtight container and place in the fridge.

If you make rice, make sure you store that in its own container. It can get weird when mixed together and sitting for a long time. We also highly recommend making rice fresh when you heat up any left overs.

How long does this Toor Dal recipe keep?

You should be able to store the meal in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days. Make sure you place it in an airtight container before storing it.

If you want to make an easy take along lunch, you can scoop the toor dal into several containers so that you can easily pack it with your family when they head off to work or school.

Toor Dal

How to reheat Toor Dal?

To reheat, you can microwave a bowl for about 2 to 3 minutes or until warmed through. You may want to stir it halfway through for even heating.

If you prefer, you can scoop the toor dal into a small to medium sized pot. You can then reheat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.

When you reheat the dal, we recommend making a fresh batch of rice to serve with. Rice almost always tastes best when it is fresh.

How to make this Toor Dal Vegan

You can easily make this recipe vegan. To do so, all you need to do is use oil in place of ghee in the tempering. All the other ingredients are vegan friendly. 

Toor Dal

Let us know what you think

If you make this delicious recipe, let us know how it went! When you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

Toor Dal Recipe

Toor dal in a bowl

Toor Dal Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

Toor dal is a bold, delectable meal that's absolutely packed with protein and fiber. Since it's so loaded with filling protein and fiber, no one in your family will go away hungry when you serve this for them. And thanks to the Instant Pot, our version of this recipe makes clean up easy and decreases the total cook time, so you can have this ready in less than an hour!

Ingredients

  • pigeon pea, toor, arhar dal, 1 cup, washed
  • red chili powder 1 tablespoon
  • coriander powder 1 tablespoon
  • turmeric powder 1 teaspoon
  • garam masala 1 teaspoon
  • curry leaves 6
  • ginger garlic paste,1 tablespoon
  • tomato puree 1 cup
  • slit green chilies 2-3
  • roma tomatoes 6, chopped
  • chopped cilantro to garnish
  • salt to taste
  • water 3 cups
  • tamarind 4 tablespoon

For Tadka / tempering

  • Ghee /oil 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic gloves sliced 7
  • Whole dried red chilies 4
  • Curry leaves 8

For Pot in Pot Rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

First, prepare the ingredients by washing and soaking the dal for 30 minutes, soaking the tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes, and chopping the tomatoes.

Once the dal has soaked, drain it and add it to the pot followed by the ginger garlic paste, turmeric, tomatoes, salt, and water. Give the mixture a stir.

If you are making the pot in pot rice, follow this step. First, place the trivet in the inner pot with the dal. Next, place a stainless steel pot that contains the rice and water. Finally, cover it with a steel lid so the dal doesn’t splutter onto the rice.

Next, close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook for 6 minutes and follow the cook time with a natural release of pressure.

As the dal cooks, strain the pulp of the tamarind and set it aside.

Once the dal has cooked, carefully open the lid. Blend the dal using a hand blender or whisk.

Next, add the slit green chillies, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, tamarind pulp, curry leaves, and give it a stir. Adjust the consistency of the dal by adding more water, based on your liking.

Finally, use the sauté function to bring the dal to boil. Serve with the rice and naan.

For the tadka or tempering, you’ll need to heat oil or ghee in a tadka or small saucepan.

Once heated, add the asafetida, mustard, and cumin and allow it to splutter. Next, add the garlic, whole dried chillies, and curry leaves and allow it all to crackle.

You can make this right before serving so you can pour the tadka onto the dal right before serving.

Notes

Pro tips and tricks

When you make this toor dal, here are some tips and tricks to make your life easier and make the perfect meal:

Make sure to soak the dal for at least 30 minutes before starting.

Also, be sure to soak the tamarind in warm water for at least 20 minutes before starting.

If you don’t have a second Instant Pot, use the pot-in-pot method to make the rice.

Use oil to make this recipe vegan.

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