Nestled among the Himalayas in Southern Asia, Nepal is a beautiful landlocked country with towering mountains and glistening rivers. Its background is intertwined with monarchies and royalty, making the country’s cuisine rich and hearty not only for the kings and queens, but for the cold weather. They have some of the most delicious daals and curries anywhere on this planet! One of my personal favorites is Kwati, a mixed lentil stew that is specific to the mountain regions of Nepal!
It’s packed full of proteins from the legumes, making it perfect for vegetarians to get their daily dose of vitamins and minerals. It’s creamy, toothy, and super aromatic for all of your heartwarming needs!
There’s chickpeas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, chana daal, black eye beans, whole moons daal, split yellow gram, whole black gram, and many more nutritious legumes that come together for the ultimate texture! It’s traditionally made with whole lentils, but I added some split lentils to thicken the texture because they cook faster and become soft. The other lentils should be left whole to add some structure to the daal.
It’s perfect as a side with naan or just by itself! Enjoy it for a warming flavor that’ll make you feel good from the inside out!
If you like this recipe, make sure to check out my other Instant Pot dishes:
- Instant Pot Palak Methi Chana Dal – Spinach Fenugreek Lentil Stew
- Instant Pot Kolkata Ghugni Chaat – Indian Street Food
- Paneer Coconut Masala – Instant Pot or Stovetop
- Saffron Rose Biryani – Instant Pot or Stovetop
- Mixed Vegetables in White Gravy (Instant Pot or Stovetop)
STEP BY STEP VIDEO:
Nepali Kwati Daal - Mixed Lentil Stew (Instant Pot or Stovetop) - packed full of proteins from the legumes, making it perfect for vegetarians to get their daily dose of vitamins and minerals. It’s creamy, toothy, and super aromatic for all of your heartwarming needs!
- 1/4 cup whole kaali urad daal (black gram lentils)
- 1/4 cup dried white peas (vatana)
- 1/4 cup moth daal (dew gram, turkish gram or moth beans)
- 1/4 cup whole moong beans
- 1/4 cup kala chana (brown chickpeas)
- 1/4 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1/4 cup rajma (kidney beans)
- 1/4 cup lobia (black eyed peas)
- 1 tbsp chana dal (yellow split chickpeas lentils)
- 1 tbsp toor dal (split pigeon peas lentils)
- 3 to medium tomatoes , finely chopped
- 1 1/2 medium onion , finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp green chilies
- 1 tbsp garlic , minced
- 1 tbsp ginger , minced
- 1 inch ginger , sliced
- 1 clove garlic , sliced
- 3 dried red chilies
- 1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp red chili powder , or paprika powder or cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp ghee , or oil
- 3 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
Wash and soak the lentils for 6-8 hours, ideally overnight. Drain the lentils after soaking.
Turn the instant pot on sauté mode and add the ghee, carom seeds, and cumin. Sauté for 2 minutes and add minced ginger, minced garlic, and green chilies.
Sauté for one minute and add onions and sauté until translucent. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1/2 the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and 1/4 cup water.
Simmer until the tomatoes become tender, which should take 7-8 minutes. Take this mixture out into a separate bowl.
In the same pan add the rinsed lentils, 3 cups water, sliced garlic, sliced ginger, salt, and remaining turmeric. Turn the instant pot on bean mode and put the top on sealing. Make sure to natural release.
Open the instant pot and put it on sauté mode. Add the tomato mixture and add some water if you want to thin out. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, add lime juice and your Kwati dal is ready!
Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with naan bread, tandoori roti or rice!
In a pressure cooker, add the soaked lentils, salt, 1/2 the turmeric, sliced ginger, sliced garlic, and 3 cups water. Put the lid on and cook for 4-5 whistles on medium heat, but do the first whistle on high.
In a separate pan, add ghee, cumin seeds, carom seeds, and dried red chilies and sauté for a minute. Add the minced ginger, garlic, and green chilies and sauté for another minute.
Add chopped onions and sauté till translucent. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, the remaining turmeric, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer until the tomatoes are tender.
Open the pressure cooker and give the lentils a mix. Add this into the pan with the tomato mixture.
Simmer for 10 minute on low flame and it’s ready! Add lemon juice and garnish with cilantro!
- You can cover the instant pot with a lid when you are sautéing to minimize splatter.
- Enjoy the Kwati with naan bread, tandoori roti, biryani or plain rice.
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Outstanding dal! Cooked with conventional kadahi and pressure cooker, but superb results nevertheless. Thank you SO much for sharing.
I’m so glad you loved the dal. Thanks a lot for trying!!💕💕
This looks fantastic! I don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker though – do you think I can adjust this to make it in a dutch oven or the like? I imagine it’ll take longer, but that’s okay. 😊
Hi, yes you can! Just soak all of the pulses overnight (at least 12 hours) in hot water. You can cook it in the Dutch oven uncovered, stirring and adding water periodically. I haven’t tried it but it will take closer to 45 minutes since all the lentils are whole. Hope this helps!
Awesome! Thank you so much, can’t wait to try this!!
Hope you enjoy it. Pls lemme know how it turns out.!!💕
You can even use canned version for any of these beans or lentils that you can find (chickpeas, black eyed beans, kidney beans, etc.) and mix them with the soaked pulses. Add these canned beans halfway through the cooking because they are already cooked but still need time to get well incorporated. It might be easier to omit the black gram since they take extra long to cook as well!
Thank you so much! 😊
Excellent recipe! After making it a few times I found we really enjoyed it when I added a good squeeze of tomato paste to the chopped fresh tomatoes. It’s now a house favourite 👍🏽
So happy that you are enjoying it. I’ll try adding the tomato paste, next time.
I purchased a bag of mixed lentils for preparing Kwati dal. My mixture is nearly identical to yours. How many minutes of cooking time on bean mode should the dal need since the lentils would have soaked over night?
It should take around 22-25 mins.
I forgot to mention that I will be making the Nepali Kwati Daal in an electric pressure cooker. How long should the lentils be under pressure on bean mode? Thanks.
Hi Linda, it will take around 22-25 mins in an Instant Pot on bean mode.
Thank you. The beans are cooked. The tomato mixture has been added, and the stew is simmering. Looking forward to lunch. I bought a 4-pound package of the Kwati lentils, so we will be having this dish at least 3 more times. I will play around a bit with seasonings. I am cooking rice in my second multi-cooker this time. Has anyone…or you…tried using riced cauliflower instead of rice? lkm
You are most welcome. Hope you liked the dal. No I have not tried cauliflower rice with dal.
The Nepali Kwati Daal was quite good. I was a little conservative with the spices and will add more the next time. We are not fond of ginger, but I did add a little garam masala. We had several different daals on cruises this past year. Very tasty. Anyway, I will be making your recipe again!