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Kale Toor Dal (Pressure Cooker & Instant Pot method)

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Kale Toor Dal is a healthy, comforting dal that can be enjoyed as is like a soup on cold days or goes well with roti or rice. When combined with carbs it becomes a completely balanced meal of carbs and proteins. 

It is winter and so is the season of fresh green veggies. Spinach, Kale, Methi (Fenugreek Leaves), Sarso(Mustard) leaves, etc. are some common veggies that are consumed during this season. 

Kale dal presented in a big bowl, with kale and another rice and dal bowl seen in background

Recipes with green veggies

I love these veggies and I like to incorporate them in various forms. Be it in this Kale Tofu Curry, Methi Matar Paneer, Methi Puri, Palak paratha, or Palak Puri. The possibilities are endless and I make much more than the recipes mentioned here. I just need an excuse to eat this healthy green. 

Kale in Bake’s

As much as I love this in their savory form and where the color of the green brightens up the dish. At times I have to sneak them so that the kids are not aware of it. My recent bake of kale, these Whole Wheat Kale brownies are a perfect example of this. 

When I get kale in abundance here or fresh from your local organic farm who can say no. But at times you get bored of the same usual dish and think of making something new. So this time I decided to make it similar to dal palak (Spinach) but instead of palak (Spinach), I used Kale.

Adding green leafy vegetables to dal enhances its taste and changes its texture. Instead of eating the regular plain dal, it adds to the variety. Also, it is a good way if your kid refuses to eat sabji/vegetables separately. And some kids love colorful dishes, so why not add some color to it and let them enjoy it.

Kale dal presented in a big bowl, with some kale sprinkled on top for garnish

Kale Variety and Substitutions

Purple Russian Kale is just another variety of kale. You can use the green kale which is commonly available or any kale variety you get. You can even replace the kale here with methi leaves (Fenugreek) or palak (Spinach) leaves.

How to use Kale/Spinach in Dal

The green leafy vegetable can either be pureed and directly added to the dish by briefly blanching it. The other way to use it is to finely chop it and then use it.

Recipe process of Kale Dal

So I finely chopped my kale and sauteed it with my tadka. The tadka was as usual, with ghee (Clarified butter), cumin seeds, and Asafoetida.  

Tomato in Dal

Next, I like to add some tomato puree when I add some green veggies. Tomato enhances the taste of the dal as well as remove the mild bitterness of the green veggies. 

The dal can be pre-cooked or you can add the dal along with the veggie and tomato and cook it all together as a one-pot meal. It’s your choice.

Once you have the dal added, all you need to do is simmer the dal for 10 minutes or so for the flavors to infuse. The consistency of the dal can be adjusted as required. I prefer dal thick and my dal is generally on the thicker side. But if you would like to enjoy it as a soup, you can have a thinner consistency.

A rice bowl, with kale and split yellow pigeon pea soup in the middle

Substitutions for Vegans/Gluten-free

Vegans can replace it with oil or if you do not prefer ghee. Asafoetida or hing is naturally gluten free but the store-bought ones have wheat added to it to make a fine powder. So if you are gluten intolerant you can skip it.

So here goes the recipe of Kale Toor Dal

Kale Toor Dal is a healthy, comforting dal that can be enjoyed as is like a soup on cold days or goes well with roti or rice.

Kale Toor Dal | Kale & Yellow Split pigeon pea Dal (Soup)

Kale Toor Dal is a healthy, comforting dal that can be enjoyed as is like a soup on cold days or goes well with roti or rice.
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Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot
  • Knife/Food Processor

Ingredients

For Toor Dal

  • ½ Cup Toor Dal Yellow Split Pigeon Pea
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Cups of Water as required

For the tadka and adding of Kale to the Dal

  • 1 tablespoon Ghee/Clarified Butter
  • ¼ teaspoon Asafoetida Hing ** See Notes
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 cup of finely chopped Kale
  • 1 Cup of Tomato Puree/Chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Coriander Powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Turmeric Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Red chili powder as per taste
  • 2-3 green chilies chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 Cups of cooked Dal
  • Water as required

Instructions

For Toor Dal – In a pressure cooker (If cooking separately)

  • Clean and rinse the toor dal
  • Soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, drain the water and rinse it again.
  • In a small pot, add in the dal, salt, and 2 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook it for 3 whistles or as per your settings in the pressure cooker.

For Toor Dal – In Instant pot (If cooking separately)

  • Clean and rinse the toor dal
  • Soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, drain the water and rinse it again.
  • In a small pot, add in the dal, salt, turmeric powder, and 2 cups of water.
  • In an instant pot, in the inner vessel put a Trivid, add 2 cups of water.
  • Put the pot of dal in it, and put the Instant Pot in Sealing mode and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.

For the tadka and adding of Kale to the Dal (If cooking separately)

  • Finely chop the kale using a food processor or a knife.
    Chopped Kale
  • Once the pressure of the pressure cooker or the Instant pot is settled open the lid.
  • Remove the cooked dal and slightly mix it with the help of a whisk.
  • Now in a large pan or a wok/Kadai/pot add in the ghee.
  • Once hot, add the asafoetida, and cumin seeds.
  • Let the cumin seeds crackle.
  • Now add the chopped kale, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, green chili, and salt. (Salt is already added in dal earlier so go easy)
    Adding of masala in kale
  • Sautee this for 3-4 minutes until the kale starts to soften.
  • Now add the tomato puree and again mix.
    Adding of Tomato in kale
  • Cook this mixture for 2-3 minutes until the masala is cooked nicely.
    Masala getting cooked
  • Now add the cooked dal
    Adding of dal to kale tomato mixture
  • Add water to the desired consistency.
    Consistency of dal after adding water
  • Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Switch off and serve it with rice or roti.

If cooking the dal along with kale directly in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot

  • Clean and rinse the toor dal
  • Soak the dal in enough water for at least 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, drain the water and rinse it again.
  • Finely chop the kale using a food processor or a knife.
  • Now in the pressure cooker add in the ghee.
  • For Instant Pot, switch it on to Saute mode for 10 minutes. Add in the ghee.
  • Once hot, add the asafoetida, and cumin seeds.
  • Let the cumin seeds crackle.
  • Now add the chopped kale, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, green chili, and salt.
  • Sautee this for 3-4 minutes until the kale starts to soften.
  • Now add the tomato puree and again mix.
  • Cook this mixture for 2-3 minutes until the masala is cooked nicely.
  • Now add the dal and add water to the desired consistency. (Skip the salt and turmeric powder mentioned in the ingredient list For Toor Dal, as we are adding it during tadka)
  • Pressure cook in the pressure cooker for 3 whistles or as per your settings.
  • For the Instant pot cancel the saute mode, put the instant pot in Sealing mode, and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • Once done, let the pressure settle and then remove.

Notes

  • 1 Cup = 240 ml, 1 tbsp = 15 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml
  • Asafoetida (Hing) powder available in shops contains wheat and is not gluten free. Gluten intolerant people can either skip completely or opt for Gluten Free Asafoetida (Hing)
  • I have included instructions on cooking the dal separately and adding the tadka. Follow instructions with “(If cooking separately)”
  • If cooking it all together as an ope-pot meal, follow the one without “(If cooking separately)”
  • You can follow whichever you prefer.
  • The quantity of kale here is a bit more. If you are apprehensive, you can reduce it to half or three fourth.
 
 
 
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