This vegan Pressure Cooker Carrot Dal is a nutritious & healthy combination of roasted lentils & spinach! Tastes best when served with rice or flatbread.
Dal also known as lentils is an integral part of Indian cuisine and there are many different dal varieties available and are cooked as per the individual taste and lentil availability. In our house we love and consume almost all kinds of lentils, split or whole. Lentils being so good for the body, have found a permanent place in the daily meals of India, which is why we Indians relate to it as real comfort food. In fact, they are introduced to us right from infant stage. Mashed lentils mixed with rice and a dollop of ghee is almost every Indian’s favorite childhood meal that’s mostly hand-fed by their mom. When an Indian mom is tired of cooking an elaborate meal, she normally always ends up making her staple dal recipe which is devoured by the family shamelessly! We just cannot get bored of the Indian Dal, ever! Since they are part of our staple diet, its grown locally and easily available across all grocery stores. Being a very good source of Protein for vegetarians and vegans like us, its a good idea to use a mix of whole and split lentils in our diet on a regular basis. Cooking it not complicated and there are innumerable recipes out there!
Though whole lentils are heavy on stomach its better to not consume them very often but lentils like Moong Dal, Masoor Dal and Tur Dal are considered as light and easy to digest. If you ever check any Indian pantry, you will always find at least 2 varieties of Dal in it! We are always prepared to make dal. There have been so many occasions where we have had friends over for board games in the afternoon which extends upto dinner time. Instead of ordering take-out for all, I eventually end up making Dal and rice for the crowd. Well, even though I do offer to make something else, our friends are totally fine with a simple Dal and rice. It’s really a no-fuss meal that is loved by all. Plus, it pairs well with rice, roti and parathas along with some pickle/achaar. Whenever we have family visiting us from India, this is the first meal they want. After having made a long flight journey, they want something light and comforting to eat. What better than Dal and rice with ghee on top. On so many Sundays, I just make any Dal for dinner and unwind. We like to pair it with Potato Curry and papad.
Since we cook with lentils on a weekly basis, I need to try out new and different recipes to keep me motivated and going. I can easily get bored if I have to cook the same thing every other day. I need to keep changing and experimenting with my recipes. If you look at the exhaustive list of Dal recipes on the blog, you will know! I got this idea to make carrot dal because I had picked up nice fresh carrots from the Farmer’s Market we visited last week. I did share about my experiences on my Instagram. If you are not yet following me, please take a moment to check out my account and follow me if you like what you see. I was thinking of putting these carrots to good use and that is how I ended up making carrot dal with some of it. Since I was a kid, I knew that carrots are good for our eyes. But my knowledge on carrots was limited to just that until I started blogging about food. Yes, they keep our eyesight sharp. The Vitamin A in it protects ocular health. Consuming carrots regularly also strengthens the immune system. This fiber rich vegetable fills you up and contributes to good digestion and absorption. They can be consumed raw too.
I decided to incorporate carrots along with other veggies to make this scrumptious dal. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Saute chopped tomatoes, chopped spinach and grated carrots for 4-5 minutes.Then add mixed lentils to it and continue to roast the lentils for another 2 minutes. Add salt, turmeric powder and water. Close the pressure cooker and cook it for 2-3 whistles. Release the pressure naturally. Open the lid and mix the dal mixture using a whisk. Add little water if its too thick. Heat oil in a pan and temper cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add cloves, cinnamon, dry red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida. Fry for a minute and then add chopped onions. Saute till they turn translucent, then add red chilly powder, coriander powder, dal masala, salt and jaggery. Pour the prepared tadka over the mashed lentil and veggies mixture. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Roasted Lentils & Carrot Dal With Spinach is ready. This recipe is an easy way to sneak in all the veggies. Since I have used four kinds of lentils here, its increased the nutrition quotient of this dish further more. It makes it a nourishing comfort food when served hot with rice.
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Roasted Lentils & Carrot Dal With Spinach
- Pressure cooker
- 1 tbsp oil - use ghee if not vegan
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup mixed lentils comprising of tur dal, moong dal, masoor dal and chana dal
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- salt as required
- 4 cups water
For the Tadka
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3-4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 dried red chillies
- Pinch of asafoetida - skip if gluten intolerant
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chilly powder/paprika
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp dal masala - add any curry powder if this not available
- 1/2 tbsp jaggery powder
- salt as required
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Saute chopped tomatoes, chopped spinach and grated carrots for 4-5 minutes.
- Then add mixed lentils to it and continue to roast the lentils for another 2 minutes.
- Add salt, turmeric powder and water. Close the pressure cooker and cook it for 2-3 whistles. Release the pressure naturally. Open the lid and mix the dal mixture using a whisk. Add little water if its too thick.
- Heat oil in a pan and temper cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add cloves, cinnamon, dry red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida.
- Fry for a minute and then add chopped onions. Saute till they turn translucent, then add red chilly powder, coriander powder, dal masala, salt and jaggery.
- Pour the prepared tadka over the mashed lentil and veggies mixture. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Roasted Lentils & Carrot Dal With Spinach is ready.
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Check out these recipes for inspiration if you love to cook with lentils – How To Make Bengali Style Cholar Dal With Chana Dal, Indian Dal Shorba | Lentil Soup Recipe, Methi Dal | Fenugreek Lentil Stew, Raddish & Lentil Stew, Lentils Beet Soup with Baked Naan Chips, Lasooni Dal Palak/Lentils Soup with Spinach & Garlic, Indian Style Green Moong Sprouts Dal Fry Recipe!, Vegan Malvani Style Tikhat Dal Recipe, Traditional South Indian Arachuvitta Sambhar (With Tips), Yellow Moong Dal with Mint & Tomato, Shahjahani Dal | Royal Chickpeas Stew, Sultani Dal and Butternut Squash Dal Tadka.