How to Make Instant Pot Mixed Daal (Lentils)

I'm not a phenomenal cook. I honestly never really cooked much until I got married. I would bake cupcakes, cookies, pumpkin bread, and a variety of other desserts, but rarely tried cooking anything other than pastas and small appetizers. Even once we were married, I was in school or at work most of the time, so I would just throw something simple together and we'd be fine. Now that I have more time at home, I've been trying my hand at new recipes and just generally getting comfortable with experimenting in the kitchen. While doing so, I started using tools that allow me to cook more efficiently.

Mixed daal with basmati rice

Instant Pots are the new craze these days. I never understood the hype until my sister gifted me one and it made cooking so much easier. My sister started cooking Pakistani food in her Instant Pot, so I decided to give it a try. The result was amazing! I can be pretty impatient when cooking, so when the daal (lentils) and nihari were done in less than half the time it takes in a regular pot, I was sold. The Instant Pot is so easy to use and it's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker all in one. It saves time and also space. As someone who lives in a small apartment, I enjoy owning the least amount of pots and pans possible.

Instant Pot Mixed Daal Recipe
Instant Pot Mixed Daal Recipe

Most of my recipes for Pakistani food come from my mom. I thought I’d start sharing some of my favorite quick recipes here on the blog to help any other busy moms make delicious Pakistani food in a short amount of time. Please note that I’m not a pro at cooking at all and there are many ways to make the food I'll be sharing. I usually opt for the simpler and quicker methods, so if you like adding more ingredients, feel free to change it up. I’m still learning and have my mom on FaceTime when I cook sometimes (God bless her for being so patient with me), but I hope this helps you get started with cooking delicious food with an Instant Pot if you're a beginner like me!

Scroll down for the mixed daal recipe.

Instant Pot Mixed Daal Recipe
 

Instant Pot Mixed Daal (Lentils) Recipe


Ingredients
1 cup mixed daal
¼ onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (whole)
½ teaspoon haldi (turmeric powder)
1 teaspoon laal mirch (cayenne powder)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 tomato (chopped)
1 green chili (chopped)

For the Bagaar (Tempering):
⅓ cup oil
¼ small onion cut in slices
¼ teaspoon zeera (cumin)

Directions
Rinse 1 cup of mixed daal. Let it soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Put the daal, onion, garlic, haldi (turmeric powder), laal mirch (cayenne powder), salt, tomato, and green chili in the Instant Pot along with 3 cups of water. Cover the Instant Pot. Press the Pressure Cook setting and set it to 6 minutes. Make sure to set the vent to the sealed position. Once the daal is done cooking, let it sit to naturally release the pressure or turn the vent to the release position to release the pressure immediately. Stir the daal. If you like your daal to be more soupy and softer, add a bit more water and cook for 3 more minutes. If you are fine with the texture, let the daal sit as is.

For the bagaar (tempering), heat up a small fry pan on the stove. Add ⅓ cup oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion slices, zeera (cumin), and kari patha. Once the onions have a golden color, pour the bagaar in the daal. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.

Stir and serve with basmati rice.

 

The Perfect Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

I have a complicated relationship with winter.

I see the first snowfall and immediately fall in love with the beauty of the season: the fresh snow, the refreshing air, and the site of little snowmen in front yards around the neighborhood. I forgive it for all of its flaws—for getting my car stuck in the snow, for traffic, for making my skin dry, and for making me feel like I'm never prepared with the right amount of layers for the temperature. But right when I get a bad cold or get stuck with the flu, I take back all of the exceptions I made and just want winter to be over.

Both Afroz and I became sick last week. We had runny noses, really bad congestion, and sore throats. It was tough for me, since I didn't want to take any medicine while pregnant. I soon developed an intense craving for chicken noodle soup and thought it would be good for the both of us to have some hot and healthy soup. I've made chicken noodle soup in the past, but it was never remarkably tasty enough for me to want to repeat the recipe. I opened my favorite recipe app, Yummly, and searched for a recipe that looked and sounded good. Eventually, I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and the soup turned out to be really delicious! The dill adds such a nice flavor to the soup and the broth tastes so good with the carrots, parsnips, celery, chicken, and noodles. I highly recommend you try this recipe for the next time you're at home sick with a cold. You won't regret getting up to make it!

I save most of my favorite recipes on Pinterest and Yummly, but the ones I use repeatedly go in my recipe journal from  Moleskine .

I save most of my favorite recipes on Pinterest and Yummly, but the ones I use repeatedly go in my recipe journal from Moleskine.

I love the site of freshly cut, colorful vegetables. This was actually my first time trying parsnips!

I love the site of freshly cut, colorful vegetables. This was actually my first time trying parsnips!

Ta-da! At first, I forgot to add the dill and it tasted pretty good without it, but when I added the dill, it had so much more flavor! Don't forget the dill, folks.

Ta-da! At first, I forgot to add the dill and it tasted pretty good without it, but when I added the dill, it had so much more flavor! Don't forget the dill, folks.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-pound chicken, in parts or 3 pounds chicken pieces of your choice
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, diced (1/3-inch)
  • 1 medium parsnip, diced (1/3-inch) (optional)
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced (1/3-inch)
  • 3 ounces dried egg noodles, I prefer wide ones
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley

View the full recipe here.

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Really Good Satay

My brother knows of the best food joints in Singapore and he was never wrong when it came to recommendations for delicious food. While we were at Marina Bay, we decided to have some satay. I can't remember the name of the exact stall we got this food from, but I can tell you it was really tasty. The satay was very flavorful and left us really satisfied, so be sure to try some while you're in Singapore!

The view from Marina Bay is also awesome. I highly recommend checking it out at night after you're full from the satay :)