Rinse a couple of times and add the rinsed dal in the ip steel insert.
Add sliced onions, chopped tomatoes, green chilies (sliced, slit or chopped), turmeric powder, red chilli powder and a pinch of asafoetida.
Pour water. Mix well. Secure the lid and position the steam release handle to sealing.
Press the pressure cook button and set the timer for 15 minutes on high pressure.
Give npr (natural pressure release) of 10 minutes.
Release the pressure after 10 minutes and open the ip lid. The lentils have to be cooked very well and become soft and mushy. With a spoon lightly mash the dal mixture.
If the dal looks thick, you can add some hot water.
Then season with salt as per taste and mix.
Cover the cooked dal with the ip lid and begin with the tempering.
In a small pan or tadka pan, heat oil. Add the mustard seeds.
Let the mustard seeds crackle. Then add the cumin seeds. The cumin seeds will also crackle and brown when you add them.
Add 4 to 5 medium garlic cloves, crushed lightly with peels. You can also slice or chop the garlic. Fry for some seconds. Do not brown or burn the garlic.
Add the dry red chilies (broken and deseeded), curry leaves. Fry till the red chillies change color and the curry leaves become crisp.
Pour the entire tempering mixture in the dal. Mix very well.
Lastly add chopped coriander leaves.
Mix again and serve the dal tadka with steamed rice or roti. You can garnish with some coriander leaves while serving.
Tips for instant pot dal tadka:
Depending on the quality and age of lentils, the cooking time can vary from 10 to 15 minutes. I prefer the dal to be cooked really well and mushy without any separate grains visible, so I cook the lentils for 15 minutes. Thus depending on the quality of dal, you can decide upon the timing. Even if the lentils are undercooked, you can always pressure cook for some more minutes later.
Asaofoetida can be skipped.
To make a spicy dal, add more green chillies.
If the dal has a thick consistency, add some hot water to thin it.
If the dal consistency looks thin, press the sauté button and simmer for a few minutes.
Making this home style dal tadka on stovetop:
Add the rinsed lentils, chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, asafoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder in a 2-litre pressure cooker.
Add 2 cups water.
Pressure cook the dal for 8 to 9 whistles or 14 to 15 minutes. When the pressure comes down on its own, in the cooker, check the dal. The lentils have to be cooked very well and become soft and mushy.
With a spoon lightly mash the dal mixture.
Then add ½ to 1 cup water to the dal. You can add water as required depending on the consistency you want. For a thicker dal, add less water and for a thin dal, add slightly more water.
Stir very well. Season with salt as per taste.
Keep the dal on stove top and simmer for some minutes till you get the desired consistency. Do stir the dal at intervals so that the dal does not get browned or burnt from the base. Cover and keep aside.
Later fry the spices and herbs in the oil and add to the dal.
Add coriander leaves. Mix and serve.
For cooking the dal (lentils) in a pot or pan:
Soak the lentils for about 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse them well in water.
In a deep pot, add 4 to 5 cups water added to the lentils. Add the rest of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe. Cover and cook the lentils.
If the water begins to froth and bubble, then remove the lid or cover it partly and continue to cook the lentils till they become soft and creamy.
If the water becomes less, then add some hot water. Once the lentils are cooked (takes from 45 mins to an hour or sometimes more. Depends on the quality of the lentils). Then follow the recipe further as mentioned above.