I recently bought an instant pot (which I may have mentioned in an earlier post). I was introduced to it last summer when a few of my friends owned one. I had decided then that I need one (not want one but need one!). The first dish I made with that was a biryani and my son who is very picky about biryani and has previously told me that mine are not as good as the restaurant ones, said that it was ‘surprisingly’(!) very good. I then tried making khichdi with it. In both instances I sautéed the vegetables in a pan before adding it to pressure cook.
For those who are new to an instant pot, you can pressure cook, steam, sauté, make soups and stews, slow cook and even make yogurt with it. So, it eliminates the need for a pressure cooker, slow cooker and rice cooker. You just need one appliance. In the more expensive ones, you have smart options where you can sit at work and start your instant pot via wi-fi. I do not see the need for that for me.
My friend, Angie, asked me to send pictures and so I decided to make dal using the instant pot and use it to sauté and pressure cook. I was quite surprised that I could do all of it in one pot and when I realized that after pressure cooking, the liquid was too much (had added more water than I should have), I could also cook off the liquid and make a thicker dal. I am quite excited with the possibilities. Of course, you may ask why not use a regular pressure cooker which does the same. If you know me, you would also know that I love my kitchen gadgets. Also, I always had a pressure cooker and a rice cooker, now I just need one.
This recipe can be made in a regular pressure cooker too.
The recipe follows:
- 1 large or 2 medium onions
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 inch ginger, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1-3 green chillies, chopped (depending on the spice level)
- 1 cup methi (fenugreek) leaves, washed
- 1 cup palak (spinach), washed and chopped
- 1 cup toor dal (lentils) or yellow moong dal, washed
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional)
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
- salt to taste
- coriander leaves (cilantro), to garnish
- Turn on the instant pot and press saute
- Add oil and add onions, garlic and ginger and saute till golden brown
- Add tomatoes and chillies and cook down
- Add methi and spinach and saute for a minute
- Add dal, water, spices and salt and cover the instant pot
- Change settings to pressure cook (high)
- Once it is cooked (if using regular pressure cooker, let it whistle 3 times), wait for the pressure to be released and open
- If you would like thicker consistency, let it cook (saute in instant pot) till the required consistency
- Garnish with coriander leaves/ cilantro
- Serve with rice or rotis or have as a lentil soup with a dollop of yogurt