Rating: 4.5 stars
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

This variation of mixed dal was developed over a series of happy accidents and has become a household favorite. This version has more ginger and a smoother texture. It's made in the Instant Pot® and I've tried it with a variety of fats. When using coconut oil, it has sufficient flavor that I think the cilantro is unnecessary.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
45 mins
10 mins
1 hr 10 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine water, chana dal, turmeric, and salt in a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®). Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 20 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

  • While chana dal is cooking, heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook 30 seconds. Add ginger and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Cook and stir for 30 to 60 seconds. Add water and stir to remove browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook 2 minutes more.

  • Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, 10 to 40 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid. Chana dal should be soft enough to be easily crushed by a spoon.

  • Transfer 1/3 to 1/2 of the cooked dal into the skillet with the onion mixture. Use an immersion blender to process until pureed. Mix in remaining dal and cook until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes more.

  • Top individual servings with cilantro.

Cook's Notes:

Chana dal is a small variety of chickpea native to India that has been split and skinned to cook more quickly. If seeking an America/European legume to substitute for chana dal, look for something small; a standard chickpea would be too large.

You can substitute ghee or another high-heat oil for the coconut oil, if you prefer.

Nutrition Facts

210 calories; protein 13g; carbohydrates 34.6g; fat 3.1g; sodium 794mg. Full Nutrition