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If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow’s healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.This may verge of heresy, but I prefer dal made in a pressure cooker toย traditional, slow cooked dal.

There, I’ve said it.ย 

The preference is not based on taste. Having made this exact recipe in a slow cooker, on the hob (where I almost always burn the lentils!), and in my new electricย pressure cooker, I can vouch that the flavour is just about the same for all methods. Give or take a burnt lentil. ๐Ÿ™‚

Contrary to what I previously believed and practised, pressure cooking is more than just a speedy way to cook lentils, beans, hard vegetables and rice, but is in fact a viable and delicious way to cook a whole recipe.

Of course youย knew that already, didn’t you?

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.I’ve always been a bit nervous of my manual pressure cooker. Purchased in my first year of marriage, my 28 year-old pot has been well used, but not particularly well-loved. Getting the timing right with this hunk of stainless steel has always been my culinary Achilles’ heel. Too little pressure and lentils areย indigestible bullets. A fraction too muchย and black beans are only fit for dips. And then of course there are the scary sounds it makes as well as tales of exploding pressure cookers that heighten my unease.ย My newย electric 12-in-1 digital pressure cooker from Pressure King Pro andย Debenhams is completely safe, and easier to get to grips with, but still with room for experimentation. Such as with this dal.

There are as many dal recipes as thereย are cooks who make dal. I may exaggerate just a tad, but honestlyย there are scadsย of recipes out there. Many use quick-cooking red/orange lentils, but I prefer the naturally buttery tasting – and longer cooking – channa dal. These split yellow peas, that are also called bengal gram (and undoubtedly many other names too), are the perfect pulse to go in your pressure cooker as they take a bit ofย babysitting (imo) on the hob. I always find they take longer than any directions stipulate. Cue: frustration.

Another difference with this recipe is that I use the pressure cooker – sans lid – to make the all important tarkaย for the dal.

No hob. No pans.

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.In case you are wondering,ย tarkaย is a friedย seasoning of Asian herbs and spices, and can be added with the plainly cooked lentils, or – my preference – swirled in just before serving. The latter method keeps it from being diluted down in the cooking. Sometimes I will put in half while the lentils cook, and finish the dishย off with the remaining tarka. Pulses are rather underrated – perhaps because they are so cheap – but with the addition of fat-sauteed earthy warm spices and addictively haunting curry leaves – they are elevated to a craveable dish.

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.Regardless of how the tarka is employed,ย you will get a creamy-textured bowl of nourishing comfort that delivers on health, taste and affordability. Not only is this a brilliantly cheap and sunnily cheerfulย family meal, it is perfect student food, too.

A pot of tarka dal can be stretched to last for a few meals – dollop onto baked potatoes/sweet potatoes, wrap in a chapati with kachumber for lunches, let down with stock for a no-brainer soup, mix with a bit of gram flour (chickpea flour) to make stunning savoury pancakes or quasi pakora. I could go on. But I won’t because I am hungry. And that bowl of leftover dal isn’t going to eat itself…

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Tarka Dal

  • Servings: 4-6 hearty bowls
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make thisย healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes! I also give you a top tip for getting the most from your turmeric.

The Tarka

2 tbsp coconut oil, ghee or other oil

1 onion or equivalent shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 tspย salt

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black mustard seeds (I used a mix of yellow and black as that is what I had)

2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp amchoor powder/dried mango powder – optional

1/2 tsp asofoetida powder – optional but very authentic

1/2 tsp ground fenugreek

10 dried curry leaves

1 tsp chilli flakes or 2 whole dried Karshmiri chillies (this is not hot in the context of this recipe; add more if you wish)

The Dal

600g channa dal (split yellow peas/bengal gram), ideally soaked for one hour and throughly rinsed (this makes itย easier for some people to digest them)

1 litre water

1 finger of fresh turmeric root, washed and finely grated (skin on is fine) OR 2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (the piperine here activates the curcumin in the turmeric)

5 cm piece gingerroot, finely grated (skin on is fine)

4 peeled garlic cloves, finely grated

4 ripe tomatoes, chopped OR one tin of best quality tomatoes (I used Cirio brand)

3 tbsp tomato puree

200g spinach leaves

One half lemon, more to serve if you wish

Garnish:ย (coconut) yogurt, chilli flakes or sliced fresh chili, coconut flakes, leaf coriander

Optional main ingredient: for a more coconutty flavour do add about 4 tbsp of cococnut milk powder, or tip in a tin of coconut milk with the spinach and tomato puree.

Method:

1. Heat the oil in your pressure cooker with the lid off (or use a separate pan). Add the onion andย saute for about three minutes, then add the garlic and stir for another minute before adding the spices and salt. Saute until you can smell them come to life – about two minutes. Remove from the pan and pop in a little bowl, covering it with a lid or clingfilm. If you can, spend longer cooking the onions to amp their sweet flavour. Or, if you are the kind of person who keeps frozen caramelised onions in the freezer, definitely add some here. Unfortunately I’m not that kind of person.

2. Now add the channa dal, water, turmeric, ground pepper, ginger, tomatoes and garlic to the pressure cooker pot. Lockย theย lid and, if using a Pressure King Pro, set the release valve to CLOSED and the programme on STEW, adjusting down so it readsย “10 minutes”. Otherwise, follow your equipment’s directions for pulse or stew dishes – probably up to 10 minutes for any recipe programme, or five minutes on high for a manual pressure cooker. I wanted a creamy result, but do it for a little less (about eight minutes) if you want some of the texture of the channa dal.

3. When the time is up, do the release as recommended by your manufacturer. For my pressure cooker I flipped the release valve to OPEN and waited for the hissing to subside – all the while it continues to cook. When you are able to open the lid stir inย the spinach and tomato puree, keep the lid off, and heat for another fewย minutes, stirring. Just before serving whirlย in the tarka and juice of half a lemon. Taste and adjust as needed. Sometimes I will add a touch of honey and soy sauce.

3. Serve with any of the garnishes as well as steamed Basmati rice, cauliflower “rice”, chapati or even boiled potatoes.

Lentil Nutrition: the one thing we all know about lentils is that they are full of health-promoting fibre, but did you also know that a one-cup cooked serving gives us 90% of our RDA of folate, 37% of iron, 23% of zinc, 36% protein (but we need to eat them with a carbohydrate to fully useย it), 21% of potassium and 10% magnesium?

If you have trouble digesting beans, peas and legumes try cooking them with a strip of kombu. This interesting sea vegetable literally takes the wind out of lentils’ sails. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It also has a rich and welcome umami taste that will add depth to any bean dish. It will disintegrate during cooking. If you avoid beans, this is definitely a trick to try!

Do you like this recipe? Why not Pin it for later?If you are craving dal but time is tight, use your pressure cooker to make Food To Glow's healthy, flavour-jammed tarka dal in less than 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Vegan Indian food made easy and family-friendly. You will also find a top tip for getting the most nutrition from turmeric.

**Disclosure: This was not a commissioned recipe, however I was given products by Herefordshire-based ย WholesomeOnline.co.uk ,ย and Debenhamsย to try. I was not required to write about these products, but as I love them I wanted to share this recipe with you. This post contains an affiliate link to Debenhams.**

9 thoughts on “How to Make Creamy Tarka Dal in Your Pressure Cooker

  1. Catherine Zabilowicz says:

    Great timing Kellie. I was just looking at a bag of split yellow peas thinking must use these up (BB 2014!) – had a quick check of emails and there was your recipe. What’s more I have all the ingredients and my trusty pressure cooker (circa 1980’s) to hand. Supper sorted!

  2. I was only explaining to my husband last night was a tarka is as I added one to a butternut squash dal I was making ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your dish looks great, and I know that the pressure cooker really builds a great flavour. Plus, being a dal, it won’t matter if it ends up a bit mushy – with my pressure cooker I’m still trying to get timings right!

  3. I feel the need for a pressure cooker coming on….

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Would you believe I’ve had a pressure cooker sitting in my cupboard for the last.. oh gosh, it’s at least a year now! Maybe a year and a half – it’s still unopened in the box it came in! I really need to break it out and start using it because gosh, this recipe…. another show stopper with all my favourite flavours!

  5. Kavey says:

    I think you have become an honorary Indian – my Indian relatives seem to love their pressure cookers – they are a core piece of kitchen equipment for so many Indians. Your dal looks fab!

  6. I definitely fear the pressure cooker, but it’s such an efficient way of cooking and I’m sure they’ve come a long way. This tarka dal looks lovely and the kombu trick is very good to know! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. callmetrav says:

    Great pressure cooker meal.

  8. Sally says:

    Intrigued by your new pressure cooker. The steam mechanism on mine is also my Achilles heel. I’m absolutely terrified of it and have only used it a couple of times since being given it a few Christmasses ago. Love dhal and so does daughter 2 who has now gone vegan full time.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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