Instant Pot dal fry step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Dal fry is a delicious and comforting lentils dish made with toor dal (yellow split pigeon pea). Also called arhar ki dal, making it in an Instant Pot is a breeze and it is ready in less than 30 minutes. This homestyle vegan yellow dahl can be paired with rice or roti/chapati. It also pairs well with pulao or jeera rice.
Mildly spiced and creamy dhal is a staple in Indian kitchens and has several versions. In my recipe here, I am making this dal without tomatoes and using minimal ingredients. Read on for ingredients, useful tips, recipe video, and step-by-step instructions to make this simple and comforting dal tadka.
Toor dal: Or pigeon pea, this is the main ingredient of the dish.
Onion and garlic: They form the base of the dish. Red/pink onions work best for this dish; however, you can also use brown onions.
Spices: I use cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chili powder, and amchur (dried mango powder).
Step by step instructions
Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil. Once it heats, add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add onion and garlic. Saute until they are translucent, about 3-4 minutes (steps 1,2).
Add the toor dal, turmeric powder, chili powder, amchur, and salt (steps 3,4).
Add 6 cups water and mix well. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 8 minutes (steps 5,6).
Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Open the lid and mix the dal well. Top with coriander leaves (steps 7,8).
You may choose to add a tadka/seasoning just before serving. I have skipped it here.
If you are not vegan, you can also make this dal with ghee which makes it more flavorful.
I am not using tomatoes in this recipe. However, you may add chopped tomatoes and saute them before adding the dal and spices.
The amount of water I am using gives me a slightly thick dal. You can add or reduce the water content to adjust the consistency as per your liking.
If you don't have access to amchur, skip it and add lemon/lime juice along with coriander leaves once the dal is cooked.
You can follow this recipe using red lentils. In that case, reduce the cooking time to 4 minutes.
Click here for more Instant Pot recipes.
Both these dishes are the same and there is no difference, although there are several variations of making it. Also, dal tadka is topped with a tempering/seasoning just before serving whereas it is skipped in dahl fry.
Yes. Follow this recipe and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Dal fry can be paired with both naan/roti and rice/jeera rice. Serve it with rice and a simple curry for a complete meal.
This Instant Pot dal fry is:
- very easy to make
- healthy, nutritious, and comforting
- good source of plant-based protein
- vegan and gluten-free
Easy yellow dal is ready to be served.
Instant Pot Dal Fry
- 2 cups toor dal pigeon pea
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon hing (asafetida)
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon amchur (dried mango powder)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
- Wash the toor dal well. Drain the water and set it aside
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add oil
- Once it heats, add cumin seeds and let it splutter
- Add onion and garlic. Saute until they are translucent (3-4 minutes)
- Add the toor dal, turmeric powder, chili powder, amchur, and salt
- Add 6 cups water and mix well
- Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 8 minutes
- Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
- Open the lid and mix the dal well
- Top with coriander leaves and serve hot