This recipe is a very traditional and common dal (lentil stew) that most many North Indian households will make with their meals. It is a light, yellow dal that is more watery than thick. It is eaten as an additional side dish with your main curry and breads.
This dal has more of a gingery taste with a hint of light sweetness. It is really a perfect addition to pretty much any Indian dish. Growing up, I would mix this dal with plain rice, veggie curry and a dollop of yogurt as my main dinner. It is one of my all-time favorite dals and I keep this recipe on repeat in my own home now that I cook for my family.
TOOR DAAL (Split Yellow Pigeon Pea)
- 1 ½ cup dal (toor dal) – washed and rinsed
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder
- Pinch of asafetida
- 4 or 5 fresh curry leaves
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or ghee
- ¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds
- 4-6oz. chopped spinach (fresh or frozen) *optional
- 5-6 cloves
- 4 cups of water (5 cups if you want a more liquid dal)
- 1 Tbsp. ginger
- 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
- 1 Tomato (diced small)
- 1 jalapeno (diced small) *add 2 for more heat, if desired.
- 1 small onion (diced small)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley or cilantro (for garnish)
- In a pressure cooker, add oil or ghee and heat on medium heat.
- Once oil is hot, add all spices (turmeric, curry powder, asafetida, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, cloves, ginger, cumin seeds and salt.) Mix in the oil and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes or until they sizzle.
- Add tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, ketchup and spinach (optional). Mix well together and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes or until all the veggies soften. The masala mixture should look a deep burgundy color with green from spinach.
- Add toor dal and 4-5 cups of water. Mix all together to make sure masala does burn at bottom of pressure cooker.
- Cover pressure cooker with lid and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes on medium heat.
- Once time is up, turn heat off and allow to sit covered for about 5-7 minutes to allow dal to steam a bit more.
- Release pressure from lid (keep pressure release away from you)
- Open and serve hot in desired serving dish. Add chopped parsley or cilantro on top as garnish.
NOTE: I have made this recipe with YELLOW MOONG DAL (yellow gram) as well. It is another option if you’d like to try that. It will still taste good and will have that gingery, semi-sweet flavor like a toor dal.
If you’ve never had a dal (lentil stew) before – this recipe is a great introduction for you. It’s not a complicated dish to make and will really give you a taste of a traditional Indian dish.
Let me know what you think! Tag me on IG @cmspiceculture or FB at “Spice Culture Cooking.”