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5 from 9 votes

Langar Wali Dal Recipe (Amritsari Dal)

Langar dal or Amritsari dal is humble & rustic lentil dish which is served in gurdwaras. It's simple to make with few basic ingredients.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 291kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
  • Chopping Board & Knife
  • Dutch Oven or Heavy Large Pot with lid

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole black urad dal sabut urad dal
  • cup bengal gram lentils chana dal
  • 4 cup water + more (as needed)
  • 3 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon hing
  • 1-2 dried red chili
  • 1.25 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic chopped
  • 2 inch ginger chopped
  • 2 thai bird green chilies slit or roughly chopped,adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • ¾ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1.25 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoon butter to finish optional
  • chopped fresh mint & cilantro optional

Instructions

  • Wash the urad lentils 2-3 times under running water and soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Wash the chana dal similarly and soak for 3 hours or so.
  • Add the soaked lentils to a pressure cooker with bay leaf and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add 3.5 cups of water to begin with. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on medium heat for 5-7 whistles. Let pressure release, open the lid and check the softness of urad dal. Check by pressing a grain between your thumb and index finger. If you feel that the dal is not soft, add little water, pressure cook for 1-2 whistles more.
    Note :- Number of whistles needed depends on quality of lentils as well as the brand of pressure cooker. Some cookers cook quickly as compared to others. Please use your experience with your equipment to decide on the cooking time.
  • In a dutch oven, melt the ghee and temper with cumin, dried chili and hing. Add the chopped onions and cook the onions for 6-8 minutes till they are a nice shade of brown (but not dark brown).
  • Add the garlic and green chili next and saute for 10 seconds. Then add the red chili powder, 1-2 tablespoons of water and saute for 15-20 seconds in oil.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes next and cook for about 4 minutes or so till they begin to soften but are not mushy. We dont want to make a pasty masala.
  • Once the tomatoes are soft, add the cooked lentils along with all the liquid in the pressure cooker. Add the ginger juliennes. Add salt. Bring the lentils to a boil and then cover the pot with lid.
  • Let the lentils simmer on low heat for about 30-40 minutes. You will need to tend to them a few times in between. Open the lid, stir them, slightly mash them using back of spoon. If at any point you feel that the water is less, add warm water to adjust the consistency.
    Langar dal is not too thick or not runny. It has a smooth slightly thickish consistency.The dal will thicken as well as it cools down.
  • Once the dal has simmered and is of desired consistency, you can finish it with butter if you like or top with some fresh chopped cilantro or mint. Serve Warm.
  • How To Make Langar Dal In Instant Pot
    Wash the lentils thoroughly and then follow the below cooking instructions .
    Select the saute made on your IP and add the ghee. Temper with cumin, dried chiles and hing. Add onions and lightly brown them. Next add the chili, ginger, garlic and tomatoes and red chili powder, saute for 5-6 minutes till you see that ghee starts separating. Add the lentils, salt and water. Secure the lid and secure the pressure valve. Cook for 30-35 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and stir and simmer the dal for 5-6 minutes on saute mode. You can adjust the consistency with hot water if needed at this point. 

Notes

  • Use lentils that aren't too old (more than 3 months). I have learnt this the hard way. Previously, I used to bulk buy thinking that lentils & beans have long shelf life. As they sit in our pantry, they definitely deteriorate in taste and do not soften easily when we cook them.
  • Like most dal, this dal will thicken too as it cools down.When you are simmering the dal, keep in mind to not make it too thick.
  • Dont skimp on ghee. This recipe of langar dal is very simple and uses few ingredients, and good quantity of ghee makes it taste so delicious and of course fragrant. If you skimp on ghee, the lentils might taste boiled. I highly recommend finishing with butter.
  • You can skip the onion and garlic in this recipe and add a generous amount of hing to the tadka. However, the taste will be quite different. Punjabi dals do have a unique taste from use of onions and garlic.
  • To infuse smoky flavor, you can add some dhungar to the dal by burning a small piece of coal, adding it to a bowl and place it on dal. Drizzle few drops of ghee on hot charcoal. Immediately close the lid and let the dal smoke for 8-9 minutes.
  • It is easy to make Langar dal vegan friendly by using any neutral oil (avocado or grape seed) or vegan butter to make the tempering. Please don't use coconut oil. Punjabi lentil dishes have a unique taste which does not come through with coconut.
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Nutrition

Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 712mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4mg