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Zucchini Tomato Dal (Instant Pot & Pressure Cooker)

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Zucchini Tomato Dal is a one-pot protein-rich lentil curry or dal made using Zucchini/Courgette and Split Pigeon Pea. An easy, delicious dal that goes best with parathas (Flatbreads) or simple rice.

Zucchini dal served in a white bowl along with hot steaming white rice and some roti

Grated Zucchini is added along with spices and tomato puree to make a nice masala. This is then cooked along with dal to make a scrumptious curry. The dal can even be enjoyed as a simple lentil soup or as said with rice or flatbreads.

Vegetables in Dals

Vegetables are quite commonly added in different dals. Dal-Palak (Spinach Dal) is quite famous and I have made a similar version of this using Kale. I like to sneak in different veggies in my dal and at times I add grated cauliflower or grated broccoli in my dal, as in this Broccoli Toor Dal.

Zucchini is not a commonly available vegetable in India, but dudhi is. Dudhi means bottle gourd or lauki and Dudhi chana dal is quite a famous dal from the North Indian Cuisine. I do make it often and hopefully will share the recipe one day.

Here I get zucchini a lot and this year I am growing zucchini. Fortunately, I had a good harvest and even though I shared a lot with friends, I had an abundant supply. You could see from my post that I am making a lot of recipes from my fresh Garden Harvest

Zucchini Tomato Dal Served in a white bowl. Seen along side are some fresh zucchini.

What is Zucchini/Courgette/Bone Marrow?

Zucchini or courgette or bone marrow is summer squash. It is a low-carb vegetable and rich in folate. It can be shaped into noodles using a spiralizer and can be eaten in the form of Zoodles. A good substitute for pasta or noodles. 

Another easy recipe with Zucchini is this Zucchini and Carrot Vegetable Sandwich where I do not cook the zucchini. It can be eaten as a salad or added to a sandwich. Zucchini is also cooked and different recipes are made using it. Like in this Gluten-Free and Vegan Zucchini Pancakes and Zucchini and Brinjal Pancakes.

Dal

I like to keep my day to day simple. I do not add onion or garlic. Occasionally I do add garlic, but that is once in 15-20 times. A simple tadka in ghee along with cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder, coriander powder, ginger (optional) and you are sorted. 

A few simple dal recipes which are common in my kitchen are char dal (Mixed Lentils), Masoor dal (Brown lentils), and Whole Green Moong Dal. Some dal which I make for special occasions is this Chana Dal Chataka or this Dal Makhani.

Today’s recipe process of Zucchini Tomato Dal

I have done a simple tadka in ghee or clarified butter. Asafoetida, cumin seeds, grated ginger and grated zucchini are added to the tadka along with tomato puree. The masala is cooked for 2-3 minutes. 

Once the masala is done, I add the soaked dal and let it pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. If you are using a stovetop pressure cooker, cook for 4-5 whistles or as per your cooker settings. 

Zucchini dal served in a white bowl along with hot steaming white rice and some roti

Substitutions & Optional Ingredients

Toor dal (Split pigeon pea)  can be substituted with Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram), Split Yellow Moong Dal or Red Lentils. Cooking Toor Dal or Chana dal takes a little longer. Moong Dal or Red Lentil are faster to cook.

Zucchini can be substituted with Bottle Gourd (Dudhi/Lauki). I have used grated zucchini and fresh tomato puree in this recipe. One can replace the grated zucchini with small zucchini cubes too. 

Tomato is again an optional ingredient but it adds to the taste and texture of the dal. 

Can this dal be Vegan?

Yes, you can very well make this dal vegan. Just replace the ghee with any vegetable oil of your choice. 

Is this Dal Gluten-Free

Yes, the dal is gluten-free. However, do note that I am using asafoetida in rock form which is naturally gluten-free. However, if you buy asafoetida powder from a shop it is not gluten-free as it contains wheat. You can skip asafoetida completely if you want to make it gluten-free.

Close up look of Zucchini Tomato Dal
Zucchini Tomato Dal Served in a white bowl. Seen along side are some fresh zucchini.

Zucchini Tomato Dal (Instant Pot & Pressure Cooker)

Zucchini Tomato Dal is a one-pot protein-rich lentil curry or dal made using Zucchini or Courgette and Split Pigeon Pea.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Dal, Instant Pot Recipes, One Pot Meal, Pressure Cooker Recipes, Soup, Vegetables
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Arhar/Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Pea
  • 1 Cup Zucchini/Courgette/Bone Marrow grated or chopped into small cubes
  • 1 large size tomato pureed
  • 1 tablespoon Clarified Butter Ghee/ – can be replaced by oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1-2 Slit green chilli As per taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red chilli powder Optional, I have not used
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon Asafoetida
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 7-8 curry leaves Optional
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 Cup Water

Instructions

  • Wash and soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes. I soak it in lukewarm water as the dal here takes time to cook.
    1/2 cup Arhar/Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Pea
  • There are 2 ways of doing this, either you can cook the dal first and then add the vegetable masala and tadka, or the second way is to make the vegetable masala and tadka, add the dal and then cook all along. I now do the second method to save time.
  • Once the dal is soaked nicely, give it a quick rinse again in clean water.

Instant Pot Method

  • Switch on the Instant pot on saute mode for 12 minutes.
  • In the Inner vessel of the Instant pot add ghee.
    1 tablespoon Clarified Butter
  • Once hot add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and curry leaves if using. (Please check notes for Gluten-Intolerant)
    1/8 teaspoon Asafoetida, 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin seeds, 7-8 curry leaves
  • Let the cumin seeds crackle.
  • Now add in the grated or cubed Zucchini.
  • Give it a nice mix.
  • Add the tomato puree, turmeric powder, coriander powder, green chilly, red chilly powder and let the masala cook for 2-3 minutes.
    1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder, 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder, 1/4 teaspoon Red chilli powder, 1 green chilli chopped, 1 large size tomato pureed
  • Once the masala is cooked, add the soaked dal.
    1/2 cup Arhar/Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Pea
  • Add salt and enough water, around 2 cups and give a quick mix.
    Salt to taste, 2-3 Cup Water
    Zucchini Tomato Dal Ready to be cooked
  • Cancel the saute mode and close the lid on the Sealing position.
  • Switch on the Instant pot on pressure cooker mode for 15 minutes.
  • Once done, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Once the pin has dropped and pressure released naturally open the lid and serve.

Pressure Cooker Method

  • In a pressure cooker add ghee
    1 tablespoon Clarified Butter
  • Once hot add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and curry leaves if using. (Please check notes for Gluten-Intolerant)
    1/8 teaspoon Asafoetida, 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin seeds, 7-8 curry leaves
  • Let the cumin seeds crackle.
  • Now add in the grated or cubed Zucchini.
    1 Cup Zucchini/Courgette/Bone Marrow grated or chopped into small cubes
  • Give it a nice mix.
  • Add the tomato puree, turmeric powder, coriander powder, green chilly, red chilly powder and let the masala cook for 2-3 minutes.
    1 large size tomato pureed, 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder, 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder, 1-2 Slit green chilli, 1/4 teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • Once the masala is cooked, add the soaked dal.
    1/2 cup Arhar/Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Pea
  • Add salt and enough water, around 2 cups and give a quick mix.
    Salt to taste, 2-3 Cup Water
  • Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles (depending on your cooker settings) until done.
  • Once done, let the pressure release naturally.

If using a heavy bottom pan, let it cook on slow to medium until the dal is done.

  • Serve it hot with Chapati or Rice.

Notes

  • Asafoetida powder from a shop is not gluten-free as it contains wheat. You can skip asafoetida completely if you want to make it gluten-free.
  • Read above for Vegan substitutions
  • Read above for substitutions in lentils and vegetables
 
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Recipe Rating




Priya Vj

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Zucchini dal looks so delicious..liked the idea of grating the zuchhini to add to the dal .

NAYNA

Monday 20th of September 2021

The zucchini dhal looks hearty and delicious. Adding veggies to dhal makes the dhal healthier and filling. This is a lovely recipe to enjoy with steaming rice.

Seema Sriram

Sunday 19th of September 2021

Anything with zucchini is a huge welcome as my plant is ready to flower and by the looks of it, a blessing. After all that gardening, simple recipes like this will be heaven on earth.