Dal fry is a popular Indian dish made from lentils cooked with spices and herbs. In this recipe, I am using toor dal (yellow split pigeon pea) to make it. Making dal fry in the
Why you will love this recipe
- Vegan and gluten-free: This
Instant Potdal fry recipe is vegan. The dal fry is naturally gluten-free.
- Simplified and minimal ingredients: My recipe uses a simplified approach by using minimal ingredients. This makes the cooking process easier and more accessible.
Toor dal: Pigeon peas or tuvar dal, this is the main ingredient of the dish.
Onion and garlic: They form the base of the dish. Red/pink onions work best for this dish; however, you can also use yellow onions.
Spices: I use cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, hing, and amchur (dried mango powder).
Variations of dal fry
Use mixed lentils: Combine different types of lentils such as toor dal, chana dal, masoor dal, and moong dal to create a flavorful and nutritious mixed lentil dal fry. The combination of dal adds complexity to the dish.
Vegetable dal fry: Enhance the nutritional value and texture of dal fry by adding vegetables such as carrots, peas, bell peppers, cauliflower, or spinach. Sauté the vegetables along with the tempering spices before adding the lentils.
Tomato dal fry: Incorporate the tangy flavor of tomatoes by adding chopped tomatoes to the dal fry. Cook them along with the tempering spices until they soften and blend well with the dal.
Step 1: Set the
Step 2: Add the toor dal, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, amchur, and salt (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Add 6 cups of water and mix well. Secure the lid and set the
Step 4: Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Open the lid and mix the dal well. Top with cilantro (images 7 and 8).
Expert tips to make dal fry
Tuvar dal does not need any soaking; however, rinsing it before using is essential. Rinse the dal well under running water 2-3 times.
I am not using tomatoes in this recipe. However, you may add chopped tomatoes and saute them before adding the dal and spices.
The amount of water I am using gives me a slightly thick dal. You can add or reduce the water content to adjust the consistency to your liking.
If you don't have access to amchur, skip it and add lemon juice (or lime juice) along with fresh cilantro once the dal is cooked.
You can follow this recipe using red lentils (masoor dal). In that case, reduce the cooking time to 4 minutes.
Click here to browse through my collection of Instant Pot lentil recipes.
What to serve with
Instant Pot dal fry?
Saute onion, ginger, and garlic as per this recipe in a frying pan. Transfer it along with pigeon pea lentils and spices to a slow cooker and add 1:3 water. Slow cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high until the lentils are fully cooked.
Follow this recipe to saute onions in a stovetop pressure cooker. Add the lentils (arhar dal), spice powders, and enough water to cover the dal by 2 inches. Cover with the cooker lid and let it boil on high heat. Once the pressure builds, reduce the heat and cook for 3 whistles.
To store leftover dal, let it cool to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to five days. The texture may thicken over time, so adjust the consistency with a bit of water when reheating. For longer storage, freeze the dal in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
Instant Pot dal recipes
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Instant Pot Dal Fry
- Wash the toor dal well. Drain the water and set it aside.
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil.
- Once it heats, add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
- Add onion and garlic. Saute until they are translucent (3-4 minutes).
- Add the toor dal, turmeric powder, chili powder, amchur, and salt.
- Add 6 cups water and mix well.
- Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 8 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Open the lid and mix the dal well.
- Top with cilantro and serve hot.