3/4 cup toor dal, pigeon pea lentil, 150 grams
1/4 cup masoor dal, red lentil, 50 grams
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt, divided
4 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon oil, or can use ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 whole dried red chili, broken
1/4 teaspoon hing, asafoetida
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
7-8 large garlic cloves, crushed using mortar & pestle
1.5 inch ginger, crushed using mortar & pestle
1 green chili, sliced, or more to taste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/8 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon kasuri methi, dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, + more to garnish
Rinse the dal and transfer to an instant pot or pressure cooker. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 cups water. Stir.
Boil the dal using either-
Instant Pot: cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with natural pressure release.
Stove-top pressure cooker: cook for 4 to 5 whistles on high then lower the heat and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add dried red chili and hing and saute for few seconds.
Add onions (also add 1/4 teaspoon salt for the onions to cook faster) and cook for around 4 minutes until soft and light golden brown in color.
Add crushed garlic-ginger and sliced green chili. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir.
Then add the garam masala, red chili powder and mix. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until tomatoes are very soft and cooked and oil oozes from the side of the masala. This step is important, don’t rush it. Stir in between (can also add around 2 tablespoon water so that the masala doesn’t burn).
Now add the boiled dal to the pan and mix. Add water to thin out the dal to your taste.
Add kasuri methi, chopped cilantro. Also add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix.
Let the dal simmer for 3 to 4 minutes on low-medium heat.
Note: You can use toor dal only or use a combination of toor, moong and masoor dal too.