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Maash Ki Daal – Urad Dal (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

Maash ki Daal, or sukhi (dry) split urad dal, may not be mainstream, but it's beloved by all who've tried it. This recipe makes it in the traditional Pakistani and Punjabi way - dry, as in firm, but cooked through - and adorned with delicate slivers of ginger and warming green chili peppers.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Keyword Maash ki Daal, Urad Dal
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
  • Food Processor (Optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup urad dal* split and husked black gram lentils
  • 1 medium onion cut into quarters
  • 1 small to medium tomato cut into quarters
  • 5-6 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil such as grapeseed oil
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 - 1½ tsp kashmiri red chili powder use less if using cayenne or hot red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt or to taste

After Cooking

  • 1-2 green chili peppers finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp julienned ginger
  • 1-2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice optional

Instructions

Instant Pot

  • Wash and soak dal in warm water for 30 minutes. Then strain.
  • Combine the onion, tomato, and garlic in a food processor and pulse to chop until a coarse mixture forms.
  • Heat Instant Pot to high Sauté mode. Once hot, add oil and the chopped onion mixture. Sauté for 10-12 minutes, until the mixture no longer has moisture and the oil starts to leave the sides.
  • Add the whole cloves, spices, and salt and stir for another minute.
  • Cancel Sauté. Add the lentils and 1 cup of water and mix well. Submerse the lentils within the water as much as possible. Cover with the lid and set to the top sealing. Pressure Cook on High for 4 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then manually release any remaining pressure and press sauté on high again. Taste and adjust salt.
  • Add the green chili pepper and ginger and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until all the water has completely evaporated and the oil starts to leave the sides. Turn off the Instant Pot. Stir in cilantro and lemon or lime juice, if using. This dal is best served with roti, paratha, naan, or other bread. I love it with some achaar on the side.

Stovetop

  • Wash and soak dal in warm water for 30 minutes. Then strain.
  • Combine the onion, tomato, and garlic in a food processor and pulse to chop until a coarse mixture forms.
  • Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion mixture and sauté for 10-12 minutes, until the mixture no longer has moisture and the oil starts to leave the sides. Add a splash of water and cook for another minute, until the tomatoes have broken down well.
  • Add the whole cloves, spices, and salt and stir. Add the strained lentils and 1 3/4 cups water and raise the heat to bring to a boil.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a medium-low. Cover, and cook for 22-23 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked al dente and the water has greatly decreased. Uncover, and taste and adjust salt.
  • Raise the heat to high, add the green chili pepper and ginger and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until all the water has completely evaporated and the oil starts to leave the sides. Turn off the heat and stir in cilantro and lemon or lime juice, if using. This dal is best served with roti, paratha, naan, or other bread. I love it with some achaar on the side.

Notes

*Be sure to use split urad dal, not whole urad. Split urad is ivory-colored, split and husked black gram lentil.