Instant Pot Amti Dal – Sweet and Sour Maharashtrian Dal is traditionally made with toor dal / arhar dal (pigeon pea lentil). If you have tried some of my other dal recipes like Sultani dal, or Methi dal you will find that those dals are of thick consistency. Those are North Indian/Punjabi dals and are meant to be thick. The consistency of this dal is supposed to be thin and slightly watery.
In the original recipe the dal is pressure cooked with water, salt, and turmeric. The dal is then mashed with a spoon. The tempering ingredients are sautéed separately in a pan in ghee or oil and then added to the pressure cooked dal.
Kokum and jaggery are then added and the dal is cooked on low-medium heat. Finally, the dal is finished off with coconut powder and fresh cilantro. However, like I have stated before, I am trying to simplify my recipes and make them fast and quick. In this recipe in order to simplify the cooking process. I sautéed the tempering ingredients in the instant pot, then threw the dal and water in the pot and pressure cooked it altogether. This methodology makes the cooking process fast, easy, and convenient. This quick recipe tastes great! You must give it a try.
Since I cooked everything together I didn’t blend the dal with an immersion blender. I used the back of the ladle to crush the dal.
I typically cook toor dal in the instant pot for 7 to 8 minutes for Punjabi recipes. However, for this one I cooked it longer to soften the dal and I also added extra water to get the watery texture. I normally add about 3 cups water for 1 cup toor dal. However I have added 3.5 cups water here.
In order to create the sour taste I have added dried kokum (Garcinia indica). It is easily available in Indian stores. It is usually sold as a dried rind, and adds a pinkish purple color and sweet/sour taste. Kokum is not usually chopped and is added as is. The flavor can be quite sour so add only a few petals. Kokum takes a little stewing in the gravy for the sourness to release, so, pressure cooking it with the dal is perfect.
Some people also add tamarind instead of kokum. If you don’t have kokum you can choose to add 1.5 teaspoons of tamarind paste instead of kokum. This paste, unlike kokum need to be added once the dal is cooked towards the end. Once you add the tamarind paste give the dal a good stir and transfer it in a serving bowl.
Jaggery for Instant Pot Amti Dal – Sweet and Sour Maharashtrian Dal:
Jaggery is a concentrated product of cane juice. I used powdered jaggery powder bought in the Indian store. You can also buy a solid block of jaggery and grate it. If you don’t have jaggery you can use sugar instead. It will change the taste slightly though.
Coconut: I bought a small pack of fresh chopped coconut from the Indian store and grated it.
Goda masala for Instant Pot Amti Dal – Sweet and Sour Maharashtrian Dal:
Goda masala is a Maharashtrian spice mix made by roasting whole spices on low-medium heat and then grinding them to a fine spice mix. The whole spices used for this spice mix include, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, whole black peppercorns, turmeric, fenugreek leaves, asafoetida, poppy seeds, dried bay leaves, Dagad phool (black stone flower) and several others. I haven’t made the spice mix but bought it from the Indian store.
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IInstant Pot Amti Dal – Sweet and Sour Maharashtrian Dal
- 2.5 tbsp oil of choice or ghee (clarified butter)
- 3/4 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- 8 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- 4 whole red dried chilli peppers
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida (heeng)
- 1 green serrano pepper slit into two halves lengthwise (green chili pepper)
- 2.5 tsp goda masala
powder (kala masala)
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
- 3 and 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup split pigeon peas ( toor dal
) soaked for 20 mins in 1.5 cups of water
- 1 tsp jaggery powder
- 6 dried kokum
- 1 and 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp dried desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional) (dhainya ke peete)
- Rinse the dal a few times and discard the water.
- Soak the dal for 20 minutes in 1.5 cups water. Discard the water before cooking.
- Wash and slit the serrano peppers and chop the cilantro.
- Grate a small piece of fresh coconut.
- Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
- Add oil to the pot.
- When the oil is hot add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add curry leaves, whole dried red chili peppers, asafoetida, and serrano pepper.
- And goda masala powder, turmeric, and 1/2 cup water. Stir for 30 seconds
- Then add the dal, and remaining water. Stir
- Add jaggery, kokum, salt, and desiccated coconut. Mix well. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well.
- Press cancel.
- Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
- Select manual and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use quick pressure release to depressurize.
- Open the lid. Mash the dal roughly with a potato masher or back of a ladle.
- Transfer into a serving bowl immediately.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Serve with steamed rice or roti.
- I bought the dried kokum in the Indian store. (Image shown below)
- Do try some of my other dal recipes. Instant Pot Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal / Instant Pot Sour and Sweet Lentil Soup is a similar type of dal.
- This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
- Jaggery: I used powdered jaggery from the Indian store. Image shown here: