**Original blog posted March 2020. Updated March 2022**
Kali dal is a very popular Punjabi dish and one of those comfort food meals that my husband has grown up with. It has also become one of Sanaya’s favorite comfort foods too so of course I had to find a way to perfect this recipe for both of them. I would say this recipe rotates in our house at least every 2 weeks.
I love it for its nutritional content, loaded with protein, fiber and low in carbs and calories. With all the rainy days we’ve had recently, this is one recipe I can’t pass up. An easy, one-pot meal, this goes great with naan or rice.
Yep, I put a ton of jalapeños as a garnish. Traditionally, it’s cilantro. But, it actually tasted good with the extra jalapeños on top!
A while back, we had a potluck and playdate with my friend Janani and her family. I don’t remember what I made, but I do remember that both my husband and I fought for the last bite of her dal. It was A-MA-ZING! It had a burst of flavor to it that we were both impressed and he actually said it was one of the best dals he has had in his life…. that’s huge coming from a Punjabi!
Most recipes of this specific dal have a basic of three spices, and I’ve found pretty simple in flavor. Works great for many but Janani’s recipe just had this burst of flavor, you didn’t want to stop eating it.
I begged her for her recipe, tried making it and failed. I tried a few more times to the point my hubby was actually sick of seeing dal…….oops. So I went to Janani’s house, had her tell me exactly what to do while I made it with her watching over me. I’ve been using her recipe ever since, however, I did make a few changes to it. I know, I know, why? I changed a little of the technique on which ingredients she cooks in what order, and changed the ratio on some of the basic spices but they are all there. The changed version is what I have listed below but if you’re interested in her original version, message me and I will send it to you.
When I talked to Janani about her recipe, that’s when I figured out it’s the spices and the amount of tomatoes that she uses which give the dal its integrity in flavor. You really need to try out this recipe. It’s so delicious!
If you don’t have an instant pot, follow the same instructions for a slow cooker and set slow cooker time for 8 hours.
Here are the tools I used for this recipe:
When Sanaya, my eldest, was about 3 years old, we had gone to Pankaj’s cousin’s house for a play date. Sanaya and her cousin Aarya are besties. They’re only 2 months apart in age and our families have gone through the journey of parenting together since we were pregnant.
Anyways, this story is from a time when Sanaya was very picky about food, especially Indian food. Though I feel like in her short life, she’s either been picky or a proper foodie. Kids!
My sister-in-law, Aarya’s mother had made a black eyed peas curry. I remember growing up my mom making this often so I got excited but nervous also. Will Saanu eat it? Will she like it? I’m hoping she likes it because I’m really trying to get the girls to have an appreciation for Indian food.
Surprisingly, and luckily, she loved it and for once, ate most of her food without a fuss. I felt like I found a magical key. Since then, this is one recipe I make often for the girls, especially when I’m in a pinch as it takes less than 30 minutes to make.
These black eyed peas are perfect for a weeknight meal. Not only are they delicious and quick to make, they are also rich in fiber, protein and non-dairy calcium.
I soak them at the beginning of meal prep. If you don’t want to soak them, simply increase the cook time from 12 minutes to 20.
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
For Stovetop: Soak black eyed peas for at least 1 hour. Then boil them in 4 cups of water for 45 minutes. Drain and add to spices as indicated in step 5. Add only 1 c water and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
For Slow Cooker: Follow directions below and cook on low for 6 hours.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Dal (Lentil)!
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Curry
1 c dried black eyed peas, soaked
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1″ ginger knob, grated
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
2 c water for cooking
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp hing (asafoetida)
1. Set Instant pot to saute mode. Add oil and let heat.
2. Add cumin seeds and hing.
3. When the cumin seeds start to splutter, add in onions, ginger and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are tender and translucent.
4. Add in the tomatoes and spices and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the oil starts separating from the tomatoes.
5. Drain the water from the black eyed peas and add to the instant pot. Add the 2 c water and mix well.
6. Cover instant pot and set vent to sealing postion.
7. Change setting to manual/pressure cook mode and set timer for 12 minutes.
8. When the timer goes off, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
9. Add lemon juice and give a quick stir before serving.
Serve with Naan or Rice.
Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite soups. Especially this instant pot recipe which takes only 4 minutes to cook! It’s filled with delicious veggies and spices like ancho chile and chipotle powder to build a good depth of flavor. Perfect for a hectic weeknight or a cold day, this tortilla soup is a great way to use up pantry essentials. Continue reading “Instant Pot Tortilla Soup”
Both the girls need their dal (lentils) at least once a week and I love it! It makes me so happy that they turn to Indian food for comfort and norm. I try to vary out the dals that I feed them so they get a variety of nutrients and flavors and I get to rotate my lentils. Continue reading “Spinach Dal Yum “
Growing up, one of my favorite North Indian dishes has always been Chole. Whether we were eating at a wedding, an Indian restaurant, or requesting it as my special birthday dinner, Chole has always been a constant and a comfort in my life. The aroma of it freshly made in the air, just pulls at you.
There are so many different versions of making this recipe based on where in North India you are. Sometimes, even in the same region, recipes differ vastly from home to home. I prefer mine to have a thick red gravy, which is best achieved I’ve found by adding an abundance of tomatoes (and I really mean A LOT) and spices. The best part is that this dish is such a classic, you can never go wrong. Serve it hot with rice, naan or Bhatura and be prepared to be wowed!
From my Kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this.
1 c dried chickpeas, washed and soaked overnight (at least 4 hours)
1 ½ c water
1 Tbsp Olive or Avocado Oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1″ ginger, grated
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 med-large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 ¾ c tomato sauce
2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 tsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp Chole Masala
1 tsp aamchur (dry mango) powder
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
2-3 bay leaves
½ tsp peppercorns
1″ cinnamon stick
cilantro to garnish
1. Start the instant pot on sauté mode. Add oil and let it heat up.
2. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add in the cinnamon stick, peppercorns and bay leaf. Sauté for 30 seconds.
3. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
4. Add in the onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes until they turn translucent and start shrinking.
5. Add in the tomatoes, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, chole masala, and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes start softening. Add in the tomato sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
6. Drain the water from the chickpeas and add them to the instant pot. Mix well with the gravy and cook for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add in the water and mix well. Turn off the instant pot, cover with vent to sealing position and change setting to manual/pressure cook for 40 minutes.
8. When the instant pot beeps, do a 20 minute NPR (natural pressure release). If the pin has not dropped at this point, release the pressure and open the instant pot.
9. Change setting to sauté, add in the aamchur powder and let boil for 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt.
10. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice, naan or bhature.