Spicy Lentils


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp hing
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 or 2 dried Kashmiri red chiles
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chile powder
  • 1 tbsp ghee or neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp minced hot green chiles
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 1/2 cup masoor daal
  • 1/2 cup moong daal
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • To make the tadka: Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and hing directly to the hot ghee at the bottom edges of the pot and cook until the cumin seeds start to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until it starts to turn golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the red chiles and chile powder and stir to mix well. Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Wearing heat-resistant mitts, lift out the inner pot and transfer the tadka to a bowl. Set aside. Return the inner pot to the housing.
  • To make the daal: Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the ghee. Stir in the onion, ginger, green chiles, and turmeric and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomato, masoor daal, moong daal, and salt; pour in the water; and stir.
  • To make the rice: In a 1 1/2-quart stainless-steel bowl that will fit in the Instant Pot, stir together the rice, water, and salt. Place a tall steam rack in the pot, making sure its legs are resting on the bottom. Place the bowl of rice on the rack.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot. Using heat-resistant mitts, place the bowl of rice on a trivet and remove the tall steam rack. Stir the daal with a spatula. Sprinkle the daal with cilantro, pour the reserved tadka over the top, then ladle the daal into bowls and serve with the rice.
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