Did you buy a batch of hard toor dal | tur | tuvar | pigeon peas| that does not cook properly? Does that frustrate you and waste your time? Here are some ideas to overcome this problem….
Typically, most South Indians, cook white rice and toor dal together in the pressure cooker. This cooking duo is usually a time saver, but a problem when the toor dal is hard and rather tough to cook.You cannot afford to overcook this combo, otherwise you end up with mushy rice. If you undercook it, you get to make the often-joked about 2 layer sambar – dig from the bottom for sambar, take from the top for rasam.
So, how do you overcome this problem? – I propose 2 easy solutions.
Solution 1: Par cook the toor dal before you load the dal
Measure out the toor dal you want. Add 1:2 water. Let it come to boil in a small saucepan. Switch off the flame and close the lid for 10 minutes. This now results in half-cooked dal.
Take this par-cooked dal and proceed as normal with the pressure cooker. Place rice at the bottom and this half-boiled toor dal on the top. Close the cooker and let it cook.
Look at that!! You get smooth, well-mashed toor dal…
Solution 2 – Grind the toor dal in a blender
Ok, say you have no time or no stove available to par cook the dal as listed in solution 1. You just put the rice and daal in the cooker, pray that it should cook well. You open the cooker and see the lentils sitting individually. Gaahhhh!!!
Rather than taking the rice out, pressure cooking it for another 2 whistles, waiting for it to cool down and then adding it to the sambar (Whew…. your hair will turn grey from all this waiting)….Just BLEND it.
Once you blend the dal, adding it to the sambar and letting it come to a boil will complete the cooking more rapidly than placing it back in the pressure cooker.
P.S. – Use any blender – hand blender, your counter spice blender anything will do the job.
These are not rocket-science ideas. But often, in the busy-mad rush of our daily lives, it is good to remind ourselves of easy alternatives. The busy family-feeding mom or dad could always use a time-saving tip or two.
Do you have any other ideas? Feel free to chime below. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
*Other excellent ideas from a reader has been –
1) Try soaking toor dal in hot water and
2) Place dal in the bottom of cooker and rice on top.
You can try these out as well.*