Return of Varan (Daal) Flashback from 2007 to NOW! Instant Pot

One of the most iconic recipes in Maharashtrian cuisine is Varan (yes, you’ve probably never heard that word being associated with Daal before ?)!!! It is true, ask any Maharashtrian!!! Every family has their own version and their own little variation that exemplifies ‘comfort’, ‘home’….now who would pass up on a dish like that?

We had started SMTC (Show Me The Curry) in 2007, and this was the 1st video we did. Yes, cringe-worthy as it was, it was the first step and we improved and got a bit better from there on ?. Do check it out when you get a chance but please, be nice ?.

Here we have evolved, kept the recipe simple and changed it a bit to make it an Instant Pot Recipe. If you don’t have one, thats ok, just use the original recipe, it’s a great recipe, the video is another story… ??

Scroll to the bottom for video

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 4-6


Toor Dal – 1 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1/2 tsp
Haldi (Turmeric) – 1/2 tsp
Hing (Asafoetida) – pinch
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
Garlic – 5 large cloves, roughly smashed
Green Chilies – 1 or 2 (to taste), slit lengthwise
Water – 3 cups
Salt – ½ tsp (to taste)
Methi Seeds (Fenugreek) – 1/4 tsp
Onion – 1/2 medium, finely diced (optional)
Tomato – 1 medium, diced
Lemon Juice – ½ tsp (to taste)
Cilantro – 5 sprigs, chopped (for garnishing)


1. Wash Toor Dal with water until water runs clear.
2. Add 3 cups of water to the Toor Dal and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
3. Turn on the Instant Pressure Cooker (IP) to ‘Saute’ function with Oil in it. Allow it to heat up.
4. Add Cumin Seeds, allow it to sizzle and get a little color.
5. Add in the Turmeric Powder, Asafoetida and Curry Leaves. Mix.
6. Add in Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies. Mix in the Oil.
7. Add in drained Daal.
8. Add fresh Water, Salt, Onion, Methi Seeds, Tomato. Mix.
9. Close the IP, change setting to Pressure Cook for 3 minutes.
10. Allow the IP to Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 5 minutes, turn off the IP and release the balance of the pressure manually.
11. Give a squeeze of Lime, transfer to a bowl and garnish with Cilantro and serve hot.

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Simple Home cooking, how to make a simple daal, how to make a easy dal, instant pot dal, bachelor cooking, college cooking,

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2 thoughts on “Return of Varan (Daal) Flashback from 2007 to NOW! Instant Pot

  1. Nice to see you guys doing another video. I’ve always enjoyed your recipes. So is SMTC back on? I know you’ve had to go through a few hicks and starts – as it does with life.

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