Instant pot whole masoor dal step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Whole masoor dal (brown lentils) is a delicious and comforting dal that is very easy to make and is ready in 30 minutes (with only 15 minutes of hands-on time). Made in an Instant Pot, this wholesome dal is vegan, gluten-free, and paleo diet-friendly. This one-pot meal is a very good source of plant-based protein.
Whole masoor dal or brown lentils are unskinned red lentils, which are more popular. Brown lentils are a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are low in calories, have a low glycemic index, and are rich in iron. They are a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Read on for ingredients, tips, and FAQs to make this Instant Pot masoor dal. For a variation, try the green mung bean curry recipe.
Whole masoor dal: Also called brown lentils, this is the main ingredient for this dish.
Onions: Red or pink onions work well for this dish. You can also use brown onions.
Ginger, garlic, and chili: Lots of ginger and garlic are added. Adjust chili as per your preference.
Tomatoes: Use ripe and juicy tomatoes.
Spices: The powdered spices I use are turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala. The whole spice I use is cumin seeds.
Other ingredients: I also use Kasoori methi, coriander leaves, and lemon/lime juice.
You can skip onions and garlic to make a no-onion, no-garlic version of this dal. For that, temper cumin seeds and add ginger and chili. Follow the rest of this recipe.
This dish can be made without tomatoes too. Just add powdered spices and water, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
You can add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or thick coconut milk for richness.
Check out this vegan curry recipe to make delicious Thai red curry.
Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. Add cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds. Add onion and fry for 2 minutes (steps 1,2).
Add ginger, garlic, and green chili. Saute for one more minute (step 3).
Add tomato, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, and salt (steps 4,5).
Add ¼ cup of water. Cover and let the tomatoes cook for 2 minutes (step 6).
Add the washed brown lentils and 6 cups of water. Mix well (steps 7,8).
Close the lid of the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 20 minutes. Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release (step 9).
Lightly mash some dal using a wooden spoon (step 10).
Add garam masala, coriander leaves (cilantro), Kasuri methi, and lemon juice (steps 11,12).
I use 6 cups of water for 2 cups of brown lentils. This gives me a slightly thick dal. Adjust the consistency as per your liking.
Lightly mash some of the cooked dal. This will make the final dish creamy and buttery.
You can make this dal on the stovetop. Use a stovetop pressure cooker and pressure cook for three whistles. You can cook the dal in a kadhai without a pressure cooker. Add more water and simmer on medium heat for 30-40 minutes.
Adjust the amount of chili as per your preference.
Click here to browse through my collection of Instant Pot lentil recipes.
This dal can be served with both rice and roti/naan. You can also pair it with pulao or jeera rice.
Whole masoor dal can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also freeze this dal for 3-4 months. To reheat, transfer the dal to a saucepan, add little water and simmer. The dal tends to dry out when it is cold so it is best to simmer with a little water.
Brown lentils are considered very good if you are watching your weight. It is very high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, keeping you full for longer.
You can skip onions and garlic in this dish. For instructions, see the variations section above.
Click here for more easy mains recipes.
This dish is:
- easy to make a one-pot dish
- healthy, flavourful, and delicious
- made using just a handful of ingredients
- vegan and gluten-free
- perfect for weeknight dinner
Instant Pot Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentils Curry)
- 2 cup whole masoor dal (brown lentils)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 green chilli finely chopped
- 1 large tomato finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
- Wash the whole masoor dal thoroughly in water. Drain the water and set it aside
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil
- Add cumin seeds and saute for few seconds
- Once the cumin splutters, add onion and fry for 2 minutes
- Add ginger, garlic, and green chilli. Saute for one more minute
- Add tomato, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well
- Add ¼ cup water. Cover and let the tomatoes cook for 2 minutes
- Add the washed brown lentils
- Add 6 cups water and mix well
- Close the lid of the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 20 minutes
- Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
- Add garam masala, coriander leaves, Kasuri methi, and lemon juice. Mix well
- Serve hot with rice or roti