Wash lentils very well before cooking. The easiest way to do this is to pass them through a sieve under running water. When the water runs clear, the lentils are washed.
Tip the washed lentils in a pressure cooker and add water. Add ground chilli, turmeric and salt and close the lid.
Cook on high until full pressure is built up (one whistle). Lower the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Remove from the stove and wait for the steam to escape naturally (10-12 minutes). If you're in a hurry, you can place the cooker under cold, running water and the cooker will be depressurized instantly. You'll hear a popping sound. Don't worry, the contents won't spill out because the lid is still latched.
Transfer the cooked lentils to a dish and prepare the tempering.
Heat oil in a small frypan and add garlic and dry red chilli. When the garlic turns brown, pour the whole thing in the dal.
Toor dal, dry red chillies and Kashmiri chilli powder are all readily available in Indian grocery stores. Toor also goes by the name 'arhar'.
If you don't have the patience to wait for the pressure in the cooker to drop naturally (I don't, sometimes), and you want to do the trick described in step 4, cook the lentils for a couple minutes more. When you wait for the cooker to open on its own, the lentils continue to cook in the steam that's already trapped inside. But, if you interrupt this process by letting cold water wash over the cooker, there is a chance that the lentils will be under-done. To compensate for that, simply keep the cooker on the stove just a bit longer! (2-3 minutes more, at the most).
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