Best Easy Whole Toor Dal Recipe

Best Easy Whole Toor Dal Recipe

Toor dal, also known as pigeon pea lentils, is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. It is not only delicious but also packed with protein and essential nutrients. If you’re looking for an easy and flavorful recipe to incorporate this superfood into your meals, this whole toor dal recipe is perfect for you. With simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can enjoy a hearty and nutritious dish that will leave you craving for more.


– 1 cup whole toor dal
– 2 cups water
– 1 tablespoon oil
– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 tomatoes, chopped
– 2 green chilies, slit
– 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
– 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1 teaspoon red chili powder
– 1 teaspoon garam masala
– Salt to taste
– Fresh cilantro, for garnish


1. Rinse the whole toor dal under running water until the water runs clear. Soak the dal in water for about 30 minutes to soften it.

2. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked toor dal along with 2 cups of water. Cook the dal on medium heat for about 4-5 whistles or until it is soft and cooked through. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can also cook the dal in a regular pot. It will take longer, about 30-40 minutes, until the dal is fully cooked and tender.

3. In a separate pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.

4. Add the chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn golden brown.

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5. Next, add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.

6. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt to the pan. Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes to let the spices release their flavors.

7. Now, add the cooked toor dal to the pan and mix everything together. If needed, add some water to adjust the consistency of the dal.

8. Simmer the dal for 10-15 minutes on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together.

9. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice or naan bread.

Questions and Answers:

1. Can I use split toor dal instead of whole toor dal?
Yes, you can use split toor dal if you prefer a smoother consistency. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as split toor dal cooks faster than whole toor dal.

2. Can I add vegetables to this dal?
Certainly! You can enhance the nutritional value and taste of the dal by adding vegetables like spinach, carrots, or potatoes. Add them during the cooking process, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

3. Is this recipe vegan?
Yes, this whole toor dal recipe is vegan-friendly as it doesn’t contain any animal products.

4. Can I freeze the leftover dal?
Absolutely! This dal freezes well, so you can store the leftovers in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat whenever you want to enjoy it again.

5. Can I use canned toor dal instead of cooking it from scratch?
While canned toor dal is convenient, cooking the dal from scratch will give you a fresher and more flavorful result. However, if you’re short on time, you can use canned toor dal as a substitute.

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6. Can I adjust the spice level?
Yes, you can adjust the amount of chili powder and green chilies according to your preference. If you like it spicy, add more; if you prefer it mild, reduce the amount.

7. How do I know if the toor dal is cooked properly?
The toor dal should be soft and easily mashable when cooked properly. If it still feels slightly firm, cook it for a few more minutes.

8. Can I use other lentils instead of toor dal?
Toor dal has a unique flavor and texture, but you can substitute it with other lentils like masoor dal or split yellow peas if needed.

9. Can I use a slow cooker instead of a pressure cooker?
Yes, you can use a slow cooker to cook the toor dal. Just add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until the dal is tender.

Enjoy the goodness of whole toor dal with this easy and versatile recipe. It’s a comforting meal that will satisfy your taste buds and nourish your body at the same time.

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