Dal usually describes split peas, lentils and peas. Some dal, such as rajma dal, refer to whole kidney beans. The word dal comes from Sanskrit and the term originates in India. Dal is generally used in Indian cuisine and provides a good source of protein. Common types of dal include toor dal, moong dal, masoor dal and chana dal. Although you can cook dal in a pressure cooker, you can also use a microwave or regular pot if you do not have a pressure cooker.
Wash the dal thoroughly with cold water to remove any dirt particles, stones or bugs. Drain well.
Heat 2 cups of water for each cup of dry dal to a boil. Add the dal and stir. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for thirty minutes to two hours, depending on the type of dal. The dal should not lose its shape, but should be soft. Masoor dal can cook for about 30 minutes while black dal can cook for two to three hours.
Drain the dal and add to the dish you want to prepare. Do not allow the dal to cool before you finish cooking with it.
Rinse the dal to remove any old pieces, dust or other impurities. Add to a microwave safe dish with a lid. While not mandatory, the lid helps to trap in steam, which cooks the dal more quickly.
Add 2 cups of water for each cup of dal. Cover the dish with the lid.
Microwave the dal on high heat for 15 to 20 minutes if cooking one cup of dal. Cook longer for larger quantities. This method takes about the same amount of time as cooking the dal in a pressure cooker.