Everyone needs a dal recipe up their sleeves and Rinku’s Instant Pot Yellow Split Peas with Tomatoes , also known as Tarka Dal, is the one for you.
What is Dal or Dahl?
Dal has two meanings and sometimes more than two spellings. Dal is used to refer to dried split peas and lentils and to a soup or stew that’s made out of them.
In Indian stores you’ll see that there are more lentils than you ever imagined. Each lentil has 4 variations: whole with skin, whole without skin, split with skin, and split without skin.
Indian Food and Your Instant Pot Are a Perfect Match
So many Indian recipes are already made in a pressure cooker, so they are easy to translate to your Instant Pot. Beans, lentils, vegetables, and even fruit cook down into delicious stews. But my favorite part of Indian food is the spices.
When you start cooking Indian recipes you may have to get a few new spices. If you have an Indian market in your city you will find fresh, inexpensive spices there. However, you can get them in bulk at a co-op or even buy them on Amazon.
This fragrant Tarka Dal is from Rinku Bhattacharya‘s new book, Instant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of Indian Made Easy in the Instant Pot. The recipe is printed with permission from Hippocrene Books, Inc. and the book comes out October 2nd.
How Can I Make This Oil-Free?
It’s simple. Just leave out the oil and water saute instead. You can do the same thing in other Indian recipes, even when you’re toasting spices.
Instant Pot Yellow Split Peas with Tomatoes (Tarka Dal)
Tarka Dal, if you understand the meaning, might sound like an oxymoron. Tarka, or the process of tempering with spices at the end of cooking, is what makes Indian lentils the magical soft pools of goodness that we all love. The process of making dal is incomplete without the tarka, so listing it in the name almost sounds redundant. But the Tarka Dal for the Punjabi table actually reverses this process, instead of finishing with the tarka we start with it, making this dish perfect for fix-and-forget cooking. On a busy evening, you can whip up this amazing pot of goodness, serve it with homemade or store-bought parathas, and you are in business. - Rinku Bhattacharya
- 2 tablespoons oil (Kathy says you can use water to saute instead)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 cup yellow split lentils (moong dal)
- 3 med tomatoes , coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tesapoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin coriander powder mix
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon salt , or to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Crushed red pepper flakes ,to garnish
Set the Instant Pot® on Sauté mode and heat the oil for 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the lentils and sauté lightly.
Stir in 3 cups of water, the tomatoes, turmeric, cumin coriander powder, cayenne pepper powder, and salt.
Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot® on Manual Pressure for 5 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, allow for Natural Pressure Release for about 5 minutes.
Once the pressure is released, open the pot and stir in the lime juice. Garnish with cilantro and crushed red pepper flakes to serve.
More Recipes to Try
- Online Instant Pot Class – Easy Bean, Grain, and Veggie Soups
- Instant Pot Refried Mayacoba Beans
- Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa with Black Bean and Veggies