This rich and creamy Kerala dal is a simple and delicious recipe made with lentils cooked in flavorful spiced coconut milk. This instant pot Kerala parippu curry is basically a dump and cook recipe that takes very little effort to make.
I want to call this recipe “the easiest dal recipe ever” because that’s honestly what it is. This is pretty much a dump and cook recipe that calls for only a handful of ingredients. This is the dal that I make when I don’t have time to do any prep work – or when I have nothing planned for dinner. It has saved us from ordering takeout on many occasions (to my fast-food/pizza lovin’ husband’s dismay, lol).
This rich and creamy Kerala-style parippu (another word for “dal”) is a must during special occasions or festivals. It is one of the main dishes served during Onam, a harvest festival celebrated by people of all religions in the state of Kerala. This dal (along with avial) is always served as part of the sadya, a vegetarian feast typically served on a banana leaf. You can make this dal any time though of course. It’s such an easy dal recipe that we eat it all the time.
If you’ve never had Kerala dal before, this is what you can expect: a rich and creamy and coconutty dal made with lentils that melt right into the soup.
Traditionally, this dal is made with a freshly ground coconut paste but my version calls for full-fat coconut milk. Using coconut milk makes this dish even easier to make. I’ve tried the dal with the coconut paste too but I honestly prefer the ease and smoothness that comes from rich full-fat coconut milk. You can use either toor dal or moong dal to make this recipe. Try both and tell me which you prefer!
Serve this dal with ghee drizzled on top!
This rich and creamy Kerala-style parippu (another word for “dal”) is one of the main dishes served during Onam, a harvest festival celebrated by people of all religions in the state of Kerala. It’s a simple and flavorful recipe made with coconut milk. Serve this dal with ghee drizzled on top!
- 1 cup split pigeon peas (toor dal) OR small yellow lentils (moong dal), soaked for 1–2 hours
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 30 curry leaves
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk
- ½ – 1 Serrano pepper or green chili, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Ghee, for serving
- Soak the split pigeon peas (toor dal) in cold water for 2 hours. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Press the sauté button, add the coconut oil to the pot. Once the coconut oil melts, add mustard seeds and curry leaves to the pot. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the remaining ingredients to the pot.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
- Naturally release pressure.
- Drizzle ghee on top prior to serving if desired.
- You can make this recipe with either toor dal or moong dal – they have slightly different flavors but are both delicious!
- This dal will thicken the longer it sits so feel free to stir in a bit more water at the end if needed.