This garlicky Spinach Dal is vibrant, healthy and delicious. Made with Toor Dal or Split pea lentils and spinach, this dal is flavored with South Indian tadka or spices sizzled in hot oil. Traditionally made in the pressure cooker, it’s a breeze in the Instant Pot. Dal is served with almost every Indian meal and one never tires of it. It’s a great accompaniment to dishes made with Masala Mama Easy Cooking Sauces.
for the dal and tadka:
Toor Dal (split pigeon pea), rinsed well and strained
spinach (about 2 cups chopped)
curry powder (recipe below)
black pepper powder
Thai green chilis or 1 Serrano or ½ jalapeño, chopped (optional, for additional heat)
ghee or coconut oil or olive oil
whole cumin seeds
brown mustard seeds
medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
fresh curry leaves (optional but recommended if available)
For the curry powder:
Place all the spices in a small bowl and mix together. To store, place in an airtight container.
In the Instant pot add: the lentils, salt, curry powder, black pepper powder, and green chili if using. Add 2½ cups of water. Lock the instant pot lid in place and move the steam release valve to sealing. Select Manual/pressure cook and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
When cooking is complete, turn the Instant Pot off and allow steam to release naturally for 5 minutes before carefully turning the valve to Vent.
Meanwhile, make the tadka: heat ghee or oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot and shimmering (it’s very important that the ghee or oil is hot) add one after the other in this order: mustard seeds, then the cumin seeds and finally the garlic, curry leaves and whole red chilies. The spices should pop almost immediately. Let it sizzle until you see the spices getting darker and garlic begins to get a hint of color, 30-60 seconds.
Remove the Instant pot lid, add the chopped spinach and mix well. Cook until the spinach is soft, about 5 minutes. Add water if too thick.
Add the tadka to the cooked dal and stir. Adjust salt to taste and serve hot with lime wedges on the side.