Yellow Squash Dal / Pappu

An Andhra style dal or Pappu made with yellow squash and toor dal tempered with ghee and aromatic spices.

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Dal is an important part of an Indian meal and this south Indian Andhra style dal is a perfect addition to your Thali/plate. It tastes delicious with rice and a dollop of ghee. We are changing it up a little bit here and using locally available yellow squash or summer squash and Toor dal or Split pigeon peas to make this Instant pot dal super yummy and delicious.

Yellow Squash dal with tempering of curry leaves, dried red chilies and onion.

A typical Andhra meal consists of a mellow and comforting dal, rasam, rice or some grain, a spiced vegetable side and rice crisps called vadiyalu. Dosakaya Pappu is one such comforting and flavorful dal with mild and tangy flavors. This yellow squash dal is almost close to the dosakaya pappu and tastes wonderful! Check out this below Thali/plate, it has dal, rice, beans fry and vadiyalu. I realize, I am missing rasam and Curd/yogurt in my plate, I will make sure I add that next time. Please make sure to check out my Garlic Pepper Rasam – A must in our everyday meal.

A simple meal of dal, rice, spiced beans and rice crisps.

What is yellow squash and why use it to make a dal?

Yellow Squash or Summer Squash is a yellow colored squash available in North America. Interestingly, it is not only available in summer, but in some regions, they are available all through the year. I grab a bag of squashes from my Costco, chop them and throw them in the freezer. There are several types of yellow squash and the Straight neck Squash, shown below, is what I am using in this recipe. The yellow squash looks like a Zucchini and just like a Zucchini, is rich in fiber, potassium, Vitamin A and C.

The Yellow squash works great in dals because, they have a mild taste and blend perfectly well with the lentils or Spilt pigeon peas and spices. It takes on the flavor and aroma of ghee and spices and tastes superbly delicious!

Yellow squash or straight neck squash used to make this dal.

How to make the Yellow Squash Dal?

This Dal is made In Instant pot with Toor dal and Yellow Squash and then tamarind juice and tempering are added to bring that tangy and awesome flavor. This recipe can be easily adapted to a pressure cooker.

  • Rinse and Drain 1 cup of Toor dal and add it to Instant pot. Add 3 cups water, Turmeric and Red chili powder.
  • Chop summer squash, tomato, green chili and garlic roughly and add to the dal.
Chopped squash, tomato, green chilies, garlic on a chopping board.
  • Close the lid and set the pressure cook/Manual mode for 8 minutes, Vent in Sealing position, NPR.
  • Soak a lemon sized tamarind in 1 cup water.
Add toor dal, squash and tomatoes and set the Instant pot to pressure cook and soak the tamarind.
  • Let the pressure release naturally(NPR) and gently mash the dal with the back of the spoon.
  • Squeeze the tamarind to extract the juices, discard the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
  • Turn on Sauté mode on normal and set the time for 10 minutes. Add tamarind juice and salt to the cooked and mashed dal and let everything come to a boil.
Mash the cooked dal and add tamarind juice.

Tempering the dal:

  • While the dal in getting thick in sauté mode, get the tempering ready.
  • Add ghee to a sauté pan and when it melts and turns hot, add dried red chilies, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds splutter, add finely chopped onion, curry leaves and garlic. Sauté till the onions are nicely browned.
  • Add chopped cilantro and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add this tempering to the dal and mix it in.
Add tempering of ghee, onions, spices and add it to dal.

Can we make this dal in a pressure cooker?

This recipe can be easily adapted to a pressure cooker. Add water, chopped vegetables, turmeric and red chili powder to the toor dal and pressure cook for 3 whistles, Add tamarind juice and add tempering like mentioned above.

How to serve this dal?

This dal tastes delicious with both rice and roti. We even switch it up and pair it with quinoa. We usually make rice or quinoa using Pot-in-pot method with this dal and we are set for a simple and comforting weekday dinner. It pairs really well with a spicy vegetable fry or chicken fry and Rasam.

How to save the leftovers?

This recipe makes plenty of dal, save in an airtight container in the refrigerator to last for 2-3 days. The dal will continue to thicken in refrigerator, add 1/2 cup water, mix and heat it up in the microwave or stove-top.

Yield: 5-6 servings

Yellow Squash Dal

Yellow Squash dal with tempering of curry leaves, dried red chilies and onion.

Andhra style dal or Pappu made with yellow squash and toor dal tempered with ghee and aromatic spices.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
NPR time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Ingredients for Tempering the dal/ Tadka

Instructions

  1. Rinse and Drain Toor dal and add it to Instant pot. Add 3 cups water, Turmeric and Red chili powder.
  2. Chop summer squash, tomato, green chili and garlic roughly and add to the Toor dal.
  3. Close the lid and set the pressure cook/Manual mode for 8 minutes, Vent in Sealing position.
  4. Soak a lemon sized tamarind in 1 cup water.
  5. Let the pressure release naturally and gently mash the dal with the back of the spoon.
  6. Squeeze the tamarind to extract the juices, discard the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
  7. Turn on Sauté mode on normal and set the time for 10 minutes. Add tamarind juice and salt to the cooked and mashed dal, mix once thoroughly and let everything come to a boil.

Tempering the dal:

  1. Add ghee to a sauté pan and when it melts and turns hot, add dried red chilies, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  2. When the mustard seeds splutter, add finely chopped onion, curry leaves and garlic. Sauté till the onions are lightly browned. Add this tempering to the dal and mix it in.

Notes

This recipe can be easily adapted to a pressure cooker. Add water, chopped vegetables, turmeric and red chili powder to the toor dal and pressure cook for 3 whistles, Add tamarind juice and add tempering like mentioned above.

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