When I was younger, dhal was a weekly staple in our home. I remember my mom feeding me at a young age. She would mix rice, butter and dhal with her hands and form a little fistful of dhal bhat. (bhat = rice). To this day, this is a flavor that I will never forget. It’s a meal I will never forget. It’s a memory that I will always have of my mom. Eating from her hands.
As an adult, I’ve realized how versatile dhal can be. It’s been a great way to introduce spices to my babies. It’s been a great side dish to any fry meats or vegetables but also a main dish for my vegetarian daughter. Making this recipe in an instant pot makes life so much easier, especially because I always forget to soak my lentils overnight.
This meal is brings a warmth into your home in it’s flavor but also with it’s history of being a traditional staple in most Indian homes.
One of the things I do in this recipe that my mom never did was use an immersion blender to puree the lentils. This is a step more so for my kids for a smoother texture and can be left out.
You can also use different lentils and even mix them together. I’ve always loved yellow split peas. Serve hot with rice. I love dhal bhat with a spicy mango achaar (pickled mangos).