Here’s a classic Indian dish, Dal or lentil soup. Best paired with rice!
Growing up, rice and dal was always a staple meal at home. There probably wasn’t a week that went by where we didn’t have some variation of dal for dinner. Dal’s can be spicy, sweet, tangy, really any flavor profile that you prefer. Gujarati dal is typically a nice combination of spicy, sweet and tangy all at once. This is what sets it apart from other dals that may not be as sweet as Gujarati dal.
This recipe will give you that homemade nostalgic tasting dal with a few shortcuts and upgrades in the process!
Typically, dals are made in an old fashioned pressure cooker, which allow the lentils to cook quickly. The problem with the old pressure cooker is that there is no real measurement for cooking. You are often left guessing with the time and number of whistles. With the Instant Pot, the process is almost the same, but so much more precise!
The main shortcut in the actual Gujarati dal recipe is the spice blend. It’s not an all in one Gujarati dal spice blend but I like to use Achar Seasoning. This seasoning gives the dal a nice amount of heat and tangy-ness because its a pickling seasoning. I know many people have already picked up this shortcut as well!
The other shortcut I like to incorporate is using the immersion blender. This additional tool really helps to give the dal a nice smooth texture and also saves you from having to mix by hand!
With these few tricks the process is simple and you can actually have dal and rice on the table in about 20 minutes.
- Pressure cooking the lentils, water and a tomato (tomato will give you a nice sour note).
- Once the lentils are cooked, add in the other ingredients: ginger, achar seasoning, lemon juice, jaggery (for sweetness), turmeric.
- Use the immersion blender right in the instant pot and blend until you get a smooth soup.
- Last step is the tempering with the hot flavored oil or vaaghar.
- Serve with warm rice!
For more Gujarati recipes, check out:
Instant Pot Gujarati Dal
For Gujarati Dal
- 1 cup tuvar dal
- 4-6 cups water amount of water depends on the consistency you prefer
- 1 tomato quartered
- 1/2-1 tablespoon Achar masala for heat and tanginess
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice for a tangy sour note
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt more to taste
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2-1 tablespoon jaggery or gur adjust for desired sweetness
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder use more to increase heat
For Tempering Oil or Vaaghar
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 dried chili pepper
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 10-15 curry leaves
For Gujarati Dal
- Place dal, water and tomato into Instant Pot. Set to Pressure Cook, for 8 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release.
- Once the pressure has released from the Instant Pot, open and add all of the other ingredients and spices. Use immersion blender to blend to a smooth consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
- Top with tempered oil from below and enjoy with warm rice!
For Tempering or Vaaghar
- Add oil to a small saucepan and allow the the oil to heat up.
- Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds to warmed oil. Once the seeds have sputtered add the chili pepper and asafoetida.
- Next add the curry leaves, but take care as the oil usually splatters when the leaves hit.
- Allow all of the tempering ingredients to fuse into the oil for a few seconds. Remove from heat and add to the Gujarati dal after it is blended.