Instant Pot Sultani Dal

Last but not the least, here comes a super-rich, creamy dal from the state of Uttar Pradesh. A dal can’t get any richer than this. It’s the smoky flavored Sultani dal prepared with split pigeon peas, yogurt, milk and cream, butter and of course ghee. Yes, we need all those dairy products for this dal. I said it’s a smoky flavored dal too. :-) Check out the detailed recipe and how to add the smoky flavor to this dal.


Uttar Pradesh is known for both Awadhi and Bhojpuri cuisine. And these both cuisines are heavily influenced by Mughlai cuisine. I learnt quite a bit about these cuisines from Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan. As I explored further, I stumbled upon the Sultani dal, and I was amazed how we can transform the humble dal to this royal and rich dal. I immediately searched for this recipe, and I decided to go with this one. I wanted to add the smoky flavor too, and then my quest for charcoal began.

As we don’t have a grill in our backyard, I have no clue about the charcoal variety. Oh boy, I got so confused with the types of coal available here in the US. All I wanted was just one charcoal and one fine day as I was sharing my blog updates with my colleagues, I shared this charcoal saga as well. Finally, my colleague helped me to find the non-chemical variety and even got one piece for me. :-) I used the bay leaf for the smoky flavor, but you can use betel leaf as mentioned in the original recipe. It was fun trying the smoky flavor, and I was bit scared as I was using instant pot. I turned my IP off and even pulled off the plug and then tried infusing the smoky effect.

I used a big charcoal piece, so I did not burn it completely. I would recommend using a small piece for this recipe. There is a lot of room to improvise, but I am glad that I stepped out of the comfort zone and tried it. :-) Now that I have learnt how to infuse the smoky flavor on the stove top, I have quite a few new recipes to experiment. So stay tuned.
Recap:

Instant Pot Sultani Dal

A Mughalai influenced royal and rich smoky flavored dal prepared with split pigeon peas, yogurt, milk and cream, butter and of course ghee.

Ingredients:

  • Onion – 1
  • Garlic – 2
  • Green chili – 2
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cardamom -2
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Milk – ½ cup
  • Cream – 1 tbsp.
  • Yogurt – 2 tbsps.
  • Saffron – a generous pinch
  • Butter – 1 tbsp.
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp.
  • Salt – 2 tsps.
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Toor dal -1 cup
  • Water – 2 cups + 3 tbsps
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Cilantro – handful
  • For Smoky Flavor:
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Charcoal piece- 1
  • Ghee- 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – ½ tsp

Prep – Work:

  • Cut the onion and cilantro and set aside.
  • Slit the green chili into and chop the garlic into small pieces.
  • Soak the saffron in 3 tbsps of water and set aside.

Steps:

Cooking the dal:

Instant Pot Method:

  • Wash the toor dal and add it the IP. Add two cups of water and turmeric powder and set it manual mode and cook for 7 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
  • When the pressure is all released, mash the dal transfer the dal to the separate bowl. Wash the IP pot and wipe it clean.

Pressure cooker Method:

  • Wash the toor dal and pressure cook by adding two cups of water and turmeric powder.
  • When the pressure is all released, mash the dal and set aside.

Tempering the Dal: (Both Instant pot and Stovetop method)

  • If using IP, Set the IP in sauté mode and add the ghee and butter. Else heat the heavy bottom vessel and add the ghee and butter.
  • When the butter melts, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, green cardamom, and cloves.

  • Sauté for a minute and then add the chopped onion, garlic, and green chili. Cook until the onion turns translucent.

  • Next, add the cooked dal and salt. Mix them thoroughly.

  • Then add yogurt and milk and mix again. Cover and cook for two to three minutes. I used my glass lid for the covering and cooking.

  • Then add the saffron water along with saffron and let it simmer for a minute.

  • Finally, add the cream and bring it to one boil and keep it warm mode if using IP or over a low flame on the stove top.

Smoky Flavor:

  • I just lit my charcoal directly on the stove top like below. It should be hot enough to produce the smoky flavor.
  • Place the bay leaf in a small bowl and keep the hot charcoal on top and add ghee and garam masala.

  • Put this bowl inside the dal mix and cover it and switch off the flame and keep for ten minutes. If using IP, turn it off completely and unplug it. Place the bowl inside and cover it with a lid.
  • That’s it. The Royal Sultani Dal is ready. Serve hot with rice/naan/roti.

Notes:

  • Please be careful while lighting the charcoal and adding the smoky flavor. Turn off the heat and unplug the IP when doing the same.
  • The original recipe calls for betel leaf. So instead of bay leaf, you can use betel leaf too.
  • Adjust the salt and spices as per your preference.
  • While adding yogurt, keep stirring the mix so that the yogurt doesn’t curdle.
  • Make sure you mash the dal nicely, and that adds the creamy flavor as well.

Instant Pot Sultani Dal
Serves 4
A Mughalai influenced royal and rich smoky flavored dal prepared with split pigeon peas, yogurt, milk and cream, butter and of course ghee.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. Onion – 1
  2. Garlic – 2
  3. Green chili – 2
  4. Cloves – 3
  5. Cardamom -2
  6. Cinnamon – 1 inch
  7. Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  8. Milk – ½ cup
  9. Cream – 1 tbsp.
  10. Yogurt – 2 tbsps.
  11. Saffron – a generous pinch
  12. Butter – 1 tbsp.
  13. Ghee – 1 tbsp.
  14. Salt – 2 tsps.
  15. Sugar – 1 tsp
  16. Toor dal -1 cup
  17. Water – 2 cups + 3 tbsps
  18. Turmeric – ½ tsp
  19. Cilantro – handful
For Smoky Flavor
  1. Bay leaf -1
  2. Charcoal piece- 1
  3. Ghee- 1 tsp
  4. Garam masala – ½ tsp
Prep – Work
  1. Cut the onion and cilantro and set aside.
  2. Slit the green chili into and chop the garlic into small pieces.
  3. Soak the saffron in 3 tbsps of water and set aside.
Steps
    Cooking the dal
      Instant Pot Method
      1. Wash the toor dal and add it the IP. Add two cups of water and turmeric powder and set it manual mode and cook for 7 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
      2. When the pressure is all released, mash the dal transfer the dal to the separate bowl. Wash the IP pot and wipe it clean.
      Pressure cooker Method
      1. Wash the toor dal and pressure cook by adding two cups of water and turmeric powder.
      2. When the pressure is all released, mash the dal and set aside.
      3. Tempering the Dal: (Both Instant pot and Stovetop method)
      4. If using IP, Set the IP in sauté mode and add the ghee and butter. Else heat the heavy bottom vessel and add the ghee and butter.
      5. When the butter melts, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, green cardamom, and cloves.
      6. Sauté for a minute and then add the chopped onion, garlic, and green chili. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
      7. Next, add the cooked dal and salt. Mix them thoroughly.
      8. Then add yogurt and milk and mix again. Cover and cook for two to three minutes. I used my glass lid for the covering and cooking.
      9. Then add the saffron water along with saffron and let it simmer for a minute.
      10. Finally, add the cream and bring it to one boil and keep it warm mode if using IP or over a low flame on the stove top.
      Smoky Flavor
      1. I just lit my charcoal directly on the stove top like below. It should be hot enough to produce the smoky flavor.
      2. Place the bay leaf in a small bowl and keep the hot charcoal on top and add ghee and garam masala.
      3. Put this bowl inside the dal mix and cover it and switch off the flame and keep for ten minutes. If using IP, turn it off completely and unplug it. Place the bowl inside and cover it with a lid.
      4. That’s it. The Royal Sultani Dal is ready. Serve hot with rice/naan/roti.
      Notes
      1. Please be careful while lighting the charcoal and adding the smoky flavor. Turn off the heat and unplug the IP when doing the same.
      2. The original recipe calls for betel leaf. So instead of bay leaf, you can use betel leaf too.
      3. Adjust the salt and spices as per your preference.
      4. While adding yogurt, keep stirring the mix so that the yogurt doesn’t curdle.
      5. Make sure you mash the dal nicely, and that adds the creamy flavor as well.
      Adapted from Vah Chef
      Adapted from Vah Chef
      Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/

       


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      18 thoughts on “Instant Pot Sultani Dal

      1. That’s one rich dal. Lucky you didn’t set off the smoke alarm! The first time I saw this smokey technique was in the Indian Masterchef where smokey flavored lassi was made by putting a hot coal in the lassi and covered.

      2. Perfect Daal to wrap up the series . Sultani Daal is a very very delicious one , I remember cooking it for my Awadhi Thali . The tempering with coal , and that smoky flavour is to die for !
        Loved running the marathon with you , it has been a great learning process . Bookmarked some of these delicious and rare recipes .

      3. Srivalli Jetti

        Wow that surely looks very creamy!..you saved the best for the last!..totally enjoyed your dishes and so much hard work!..great job Srividhya..

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