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Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal

This Instant Pot Split Red Lentil (Masoor) Dal curry is a quick, easy, and authentic Pakistani/North Indian-style dal recipe. It's naturally gluten-free, vegetarian (or optional vegan), and cooks within minutes!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Diet Gluten Free, Halal, Hindu, Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 356kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup masoor dal red lentils
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil such as grapeseed or avocado
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small or ½ large yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • ½ small Serrano pepper or thai chili pepper sliced (or whole if you prefer less heat)
  • ½ medium tomato (about 1/4 cup chopped) very finely chopped or pureed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 red chili powder or cayenne or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water

After cooking:

  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (less for finer salt) or to taste
  • ½ tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice optional
  • generous pinch garam masala optional

Instructions

To Wash

  • Place lentils in a small bowl and fill with water. Use your hand to swirl the dal around until the water becomes murky. Tip the bowl to take out the excess water and repeat until the water runs clear. Remove any debris, strain the dal, and set aside.

To Cook

  • Select the high Sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the oil, cumin seeds, and onions.
  • Sauté until the onions turn lightly golden, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chili pepper and continue to sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears and the color of the onion deepens. Add the tomato and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Add the spice powders (red chili, turmeric, cumin, coriander) and stir. Add in the rinsed dal and 1 ½ cups of water.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Let the venting naturally release for 5 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Open the pot and turn to Sauté mode again. Add the salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often to smooth out and thicken the dal. Press Cancel to turn off the Instant Pot.
  • Add ghee, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, and garam masala, if using. Give it a stir.
  • Serve dal hot with rice, roti, naan or other bread. I like to serve it with some chopped onions, carrots or cucumber on the side.

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 891mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 4mg