Cooked Toor Dal ~ Indian Basics for Cooking

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Ok this is exactly not a mandatory item on the list for Basic ones in Indian Cooking. But I would rather think so. Though cooking toor dal in pressure cooker takes about 10 minutes, having cooked dal on hand is much more convenient. Especially when you are hard pressed to dish up something quick for yourself or for making rasam, this comes so handy.

Toor dal is like an everyday affair at home. Dal or Sambar is always on the menu and Rasam is mandatory. Indian Basics for Cooking is a series where I have tried showcase those basic ingredients or dishes that are very essential for whipping out a quick dish. And having cooked dal at hand surely falls in that category!

Cooked Toor Dal

Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Lunch Box, Main Dish - Gravies
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 2 cups


  • 1 cup Toor Dal
  • 3 cups Water
  • A pinch Turmeric powder
  • A pinch Asafoetida
  • Cooking Oil few drops


  • Wash the dal well and add 3 cups of water. Add turmeric, hing and oil to the dal.
  • Pressure cook for 4 -5 whistles or till the lentil is cooked well. Drain the water to use in Rasam or Sambar.
  • Store the thick dal in an air tight container for a week.
  • Remove what is needed and quickly put it back. There is no need to freeze it if you want to use within a week.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Do share what other such common dishes that you make?

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  1. I have an idea..we can make stuffed parathas out of the dried cooked toor dal! it is called "dal bhari poori" in North India and is very tasty

  2. I used to cook toor dal for a week and keep it in the fridge. I posted the one stop dal of "do the tadka with tomatoes and sambhar powder, sometimes methi or palak added on, and just pressure cook". Of course, then I have a cooker to wash everyday.

    My basic is ginger, garlic, green chili and cilantro paste in the fridge.

  3. Valli,

    Inspired by your basics technique I just announced an event on my blog. And yes, I attached a link giving your blog and this post the credit. 🙂

  4. Hi Srivalli,
    This is my frist time visit. You have a wonderful space.. Nice recipes…great tips on basic cooking..Glad to follow you.

  5. There's nothing better than simple dal with steaming hot chawal or rotis! This is a good starter dish!

  6. How do you make toor dal without using a pressure cooker? I just tried making it and after 2 hours of cooking it was still crunchy? is that bad dal? or are 2+ hours required for adequate cooking?

  7. cfayogiIts been ages since I actually cooked Toor dal in a regular way. I have seen my mother cooking it directly on stove top in a pan. But I remember it taking quite some time of cooking.

    But surely not 2 hrs. If a simple dal takes 2 hrs, then I am sure we can never make a meal on time…:)

    If you don't want to use Pressure cooker, try soaking the dal in hot water with lid covered for 30 mins, then cook in lots of water, say for 1 cup dal, use 3 -4 cups of water. let the water start rolling (boiling well) then simmer and cook with a lid covered for about 20 mins.

    This should get your dal cooked well.

    Pls do try this method and let me know. I am only guessing on the quality of dal you saying, But it should not take this much time also.

    Will try it myself and update this space.


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