Whoever said necessity of the mother of invention is a cent percent right. We come up with creative hacks to easy solutions when we do not have too many options available with us. Just like how I came up with this pressure cooker arhar dal recipe when I was in college. All I had was a pressure cooker and a few spices to make food, and this technique of making dal always came in handy. I love this pressure cooker arhar dal recipe so much that I still make it whenever I am hard pressed for time. It is so simple to make, and the taste is so subtle and delicious. And arhar dal or toor dal with rice is a nourishing and wholesome meal in itself.
Arhar dal, also known as toor dal is a favourite in Indian households. It can be cooked in a variety of ways, and the most popular way to eat it is probably the Arhar Dal Fry that you get in dhabas. I love this dal in all its forms, as it has its own distinct taste and flavour. This pigeon pea lentil curry is extremely light and easy on the stomach. Made with a handful of spices, this recipe is extremely easy to make.
The secret to the flavour in this dal lies in its tempering. The tempering is a mix of the five spice mix called panchphoran (fennel, nigella, fenugreek, black mustard and cumin seeds), garlic and dried red chillies. The mustard oil adds the kick and pungency to the dal. The spices include Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. that’s it.
It is very important to soak toor dal before cooking it. Wash the lentil thoroughly under running water and submerge it in water for 2-4 hours till it softens. This is a very important step before you make this recipe.
Here’s the recipe.
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Soaking time – 2 hours
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 3
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 tsp panchphoran
- 8 g garlic/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped tomato
- 120 g/1 cup soaked arhar dal/toor dal/pigeon pea
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 500 ml hot water / 2 cups hot water
- Finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Thoroughly wash the arhar dal under running water till Clean. Soak in water for 2-4 hours.
- Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker. Once it smokes, lower the heat and temper with dry red chilli, panchphoran and garlic. Stir for 5-10 seconds.
- Add the roughly chopped tomato and mix for another ten seconds.
- Now add the soaked pigeon pea/arhar dal and mix well on medium flame.
- Season with salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Mix well.
- Pour the hot water and stir.
- Cover and let it cook for 5-6 whistles.
- Let the pressure cooker release all steam on its own. Once all the steam is out, open the lid. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with steaming white rice. Enjoy!
I hope you try this delicious and easy pressure cooker arhar dal soon! If you have any doubts, comments, or feedback, please reach out to me in comments or my social media handles.
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Not sure how else one can make arahar dal? Don’t we all make it in pressure cooker ?
We do boil it in pressure cooker. But the tadka and tempering with spices is usually a separate process. This is one of the easiest ways though.