This easy chana dal recipe made in the instant pot is tasty and nutritious. It tastes amazing with both Indian bread like roti or plain rice. Serve it with a fresh salad on the side for a simple and wholesome meal.
Keyword easy chana dal recipe, instant pot chana dal
Turn on your instant pot to sauté and add the cooking oil to the steel insert. When it becomes hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, tomato, and powdered spices (coriander, red chilli, turmeric, and garam masala). Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, adding splashes of water to prevent the masala from burning. The masala is cooked when the raw smell goes and the oil comes to the surface. Cancel sauté.
Add the rinsed chana dal, water and salt and stir. Secure the lid and make sure the steam release vent is sealed. Press the pressure cooking button on high and set the timer for 20 minutes.
When the timer beeps, wait for 5 minutes before releasing the steam. Open the pot and stir the dal. Check for consistency. If it is too thick, you can add ½ cup water and cook it on saute for 2-3 minutes.
For the tempering, heat the cooking oil in a small frypan and add the onions and cumin seeds. When the onions turn a reddish-brown, add the green chillies. Pour this tempering carefully on the dal. Garnish with some chopped cilantro if using. Serve the dal with some bread or rice.
Increase the cooking time by 5 minutes if you want even softer dal that breaks and mixes with the curry.
While tempering the dal, keep stirring the onions to prevent them from burning. As soon as they turn a reddish-brown color, add the slit green chillies and pour immediately on the dal.
Add a pinch of hing (asafoetida) to the dal before pressure cooking it. It is an optional ingredient, but it aids in digestion and is easily available in Indian grocery stores.
Do not skip the ginger as it is another ingredient that makes the dal easy on the stomach.