Dal Bukhara is a very traditional dal made overnight by slow cooking in the Tandoor oven. Dal Bukhara is typically made with whole black gram dal. This is truly a regal dal in all aspects: flavor, taste and visual appeal.
The recipe presented here steps away from the traditional black gram dal and makes use of a mix of robust pulses. Puritans please forgive me for this experimentation 😉 The end result was nevertheless delicious.
Traditional dal Bukhara also has either yogurt or cream or both. I ventured away from both of them and only used cashew nuts to add to the creaminess, thereby keeping this dal completely vegan.
The icing on the cake? This recipe is made using the InstantPot, so instead of hours of slow-cooked dal, we are able to obtain the same (almost!!) taste and consistency in about an hour.
As a side note, Bukhara is a city in Uzbekistan and I have no clue if there is any connection to this dal 🤷🏻♀️
This dal has many different layers of flavors which make it quite delicious and aromatic – two different pastes, plenty of dried spices, and couple of important seasoning powders.
Paste 1 combines onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies. My addition? Fresh turmeric root to provide the rich color.
Paste 2 is pure tomato puree. I enhanced it with cashews to make it rich and creamy
Dried warm spices used are cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaves
Finishing off with seasoning powders -coriander powder and cumin powder. Red chilly powder is optional, as we included green chillies and black peppercorns for the heat components.
- Instant Pot
- 2 cups Mixed pulses soaked overnight or soaked for 30 mins in warm water
- 2 tbsps Oil
- Coriander or Cilantro leaves garnish
Paste 1 –
- 1 Shallot
- 2 inch Ginger
- 2 pods Garlic
- 4 Green chillies
- 2 inch Turmeric root
Paste 2 –
- 5 Tomatoes
- 20 Cashewnuts
Dried Spices –
- 4 Cardamoms
- 2 sticks Cinnamon
- 10 black Peppercorns
- 10 Cloves
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1/2 piece Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
Seasoning powders –
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Red chilly powder optional for added spice
- Salt to taste
- Start the InstantPot on SAUTE mode
- Add the cooking oil, add all the dried spices and fry for 1-2 minutes until nice aroma emanates
- Add the paste 1 and mix, turn off the InstantPot to OFF
- Add the paste 2 and mix
- Add the mixed Pulses, salt to taste, 2 cups of water and all the seasoning powders
- Set the cooking time to 45 minutes on High pressure (Each IP might be different, cooking times may range from 45 mins to 1 hour depending on type of pulses used)
- Let pressure release naturally after cooking time is complete
- Garnish with plenty of chopped cilantro leaves