Satisfy your soul and your stomach with this flavor-filled langarwali dal – a creamy mixed lentil curry that cooks effortlessly in the Instant Pot. Pair it with jeera rice or cumin rice for a complete gastronomic experience.
What is langarwali dal?
To understand the origin of this recipe – langar ki dal – it is important to understand the concept of langar.
Langar is a Persian word that translates as a place for the poor and the needy. It also refers to the free hot vegetarian meals served in Sikh temples also known as gurudwaras.
The tradition of serving free food started in 1481 during the time of Guru Nanak, the first guru of Sikh people, and has continued since. Every single gurudwara around the world offers this service and it is estimated that it amounts to 7 million meals a day.
The food funded by donations both of produce and money is prepared and served by volunteers to all visitors without any distinction of religion, class, or creed.
About this langar ki dal recipe
Langar ki dal is a creamy and aromatic lentil curry that makes for both a satisfying and comforting meal. It can be made as spicy or mild as you want. The key to this recipe is to let the lentils shine and not let the spices overpower them.
The traditional recipe combines two kinds of dal (whole urad dal and chana dal) and calls for slow cooking them along with onions, tomatoes, and a few other ingredients until it softens and becomes creamy.
While you could use a slow cooker to make this recipe, using an Instant Pot is what I would recommend. With just 10 minutes of prep time and about 40 minutes of cook time, Instant Pot gets your meal ready with flavors and textures that match hours of slow cooking.
You can serve this lentil curry with soft rotis, steaming hot Basmati rice, or buttery naan, but my absolute favorite accompaniment is the fragrant and aromatic jeera rice – I strongly recommend it.
What you’ll love about this recipe
- No overnight soaking required.
- Needs only 10 minutes of prep time.
- Replicates the slow-cooked flavor in a fraction of time.
- This recipe is easy to make and scaleable which makes it perfect for entertaining.
This recipe is from Aneesha Gupta’s book – Electric Pressure Cooker Curry Cookbook: 75 Recipes From India, Thailand, the Caribbean, and Beyond and has been posted here with permission.
If you are a curry lover like I am, you’ll appreciate the fact that her cookbook covers popular curries from India and around the world that you can effortlessly make in your Instant Pot. I was so excited about this book that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
When the book arrived, the recipe for langarwali dal caught my eye. I have been wanting to make this dish for quite some time, but I wanted an authentic recipe from a source that I could trust.
After trying the recipe from the book, here’s what I have to say – there are good recipes and then there are recipes that knock it out of the park. This dal recipe was creamy, aromatic, and so delicious that I had to stop myself from licking the Instant Pot. The balance of flavors was perfect and having paired it with jeera rice (cumin rice), it was one of the most satisfying meals I have had in recent times.
A few other things I liked about this book are – the instructions are clear and easy to understand. There are helpful tips and I am sure you’ll enjoy reading the brief history of each recipe like I did.
I am pretty sure, you’ll not regret buying this book – go get your copy today!
Looking for more curry recipes? Check out these popular ones from the blog –
- Restaurant-Style Dal Makhani – You’ve got to try this creamy and delicious Punjabi lentil curry that graces the menus of Indian restaurants worldwide. Learn how to replicate the flavors of this traditionally slow-cooked curry quickly in an Instant Pot.
- Instant Pot Rajma masala – Use your pressure cooker or Instant Pot to make this quick & delicious Dhaba style Punjabi rajma masala. While you can serve it with rotis, the combination of rajma and chawal (rice) is what makes this dish truly special.
- Tadka dal – One pot recipes are the best! That’s why you’ll love this Tadka dal (tempered dal) recipe – make it in an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker – and you’ll have your meal ready in no time.
- Chana masala – This vegan one-pot curry can be made in an Instant Pot as well as a stovetop Pressure cooker. Get all the deets on how to make this delicious curry at home!
- Paneer makhani – Learn how to make your favorite take-out curry – Restaurant-style Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani at home in less than 40 minutes!
Instant Pot Langarwali Dal
- 1/2 cup whole urad dal black matpe beans
- 1/4 cup chana dal split chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 serrano chilies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro plus an additional 3 tablespoons for garnish
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- Wash and soak urad and chana dal in warm water while you prepare other ingredients and start sautéing the onions.
- Preheat the electric pressure cooker by selecting sauté. When the inner pot is hot, after about 30 seconds, add the ghee and cumin seeds.
- When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add the onion, ginger, garlic, and serrano chilies, then stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, garam masala, coriander, and cumin powder. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, until the tomatoes break down.
- Rinse and drain the soaked lentils and add them to the pot. Add the cilantro and water. Stir, scraping off any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Turn off sauté.
- Lock the lid in place. Select manual or pressure cook and adjust to high. Cook for 40 minutes on sealing mode.
- When the cooking is complete, wait 10 minutes for natural pressure release, after which follow the quick-release method as per your cooker instructions. Unlock and remove the lid.
- Stir the lentils and mash a few beans using a potato masher. This gives a creamy texture and thickens the curry. Stir in the butter (if using) to enhance creaminess.
- Garnish with the reserved cilantro and serve with Roti or cumin rice.
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Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.