Creamy, nutritious, and delicious Masoor Dal Instant Pot is made with red lentils, tomatoes, garlic, fresh spinach, and Indian spices. This dal makes a quick and easy weeknight meal.
- Dal - A Staple in Every Indian Home!
- What is Masoor Dal (Red Lentils Dal)?
- What are the Benefits of Masoor Dal
- Ingredients for making Masoor Dal Instant Pot
- Why You’ll Love this Masoor Dal Instant Pot
- How to make Instant Pot Masoor Dal
- Tips to make Creamy Masoor Dal Instant Pot
- Serving Suggestions
Dal - A Staple in Every Indian Home!
Dal (or daal) is a staple in every Indian household. With the number of Indian vegetarians in the world and the variety of dals in our culture, it's no surprise most Indians consume dal on a daily basis given its nutritional value and protein amount.
One such dal is Masoor Dal. Masoor Dal or Red Lentil Curry or Red Lentil Dal makes a great weeknight option because the lentils require no soaking and don't take much time to cook. Not to mention it's super creamy and delicious.
This quick and easy meal comes together in no time. There is also very little chopping in this recipe so trust me when I say this Instant Pot dal is the perfect weeknight meal.
For more Instant Pot recipes, check out my Andhra-style Tomato Dal / Tomato Pappu, Vegetable Pulao Instant Pot, Green Sabut Moong Dal, and Instant Pot Plain Khichdi.
What is Masoor Dal (Red Lentils Dal)?
Masoor Dal is known as red lentils in English; Red Lentils are Masoor Dal in Hindi. These red lentils are popular in both the east and west so you can easily find them at the Indian grocery store as well as most western grocery stores. This particular dal has an earthy flavor, a creamy texture once cooked, and is easier to digest.
If I may say so myself, my Red Lentils Dal recipe is the ultimate comfort food and tastes amazing! It's my go-to dal when I don't feel like cooking and after returning from vacation. It just hits the spot!
What are the Benefits of Masoor Dal
Masoor Dal is a nutritious pulse that offers many benefits.
- Protein - It's a good source of protein making it a great option for vegans and vegetarians.
- Fiber - Red lentils are a good source of fiber which keeps you full longer. Additionally, fiber can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
- Folate & Iron - These lentils are rich in folate and iron making them ideal for women who are pregnant.
- Weight Loss - Masoor Dal helps with weight loss as it's low in calories and high in fiber which keeps you full longer.
- Controls Blood Sugar - Since Masoor Dal has a low glycemic index, it helps lower blood sugar making it great for diabetics.
- Antioxidants - Masoor Dal has lots of antioxidants making it an anti-aging superfood.
Ingredients for making Masoor Dal Instant Pot
- Masoor Dal (Red Lentils) - You will need split Masoor Dal or red lentils for this recipe. The dal needs to be washed well, but you do not need to soak it. You can find red lentils on Amazon.
- Water - You'll need some cold tap water to cook the dal.
- Tomatoes - You'll need freshly chopped tomatoes for this recipe.
- Garlic - Freshly sliced garlic.
- Baby Spinach - You'll need some baby spinach that you'll add to the dal after it's cooked. The spinach will wilt in a minute once added to the hot dal.
- Spices - Turmeric Powder, Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, Asafoetida (hing), Cumin Seeds, and Garam Masala. Note: if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free hing.
- Dry Red Chilies - I like breaking these dry red chilies in half which adds a little heat and color.
- Avocado Oil - or you can use any high-heat flavorless oil.
- Lemon Juice - You'll need freshly squeezed lemon juice towards the end.
Why You’ll Love this Masoor Dal Instant Pot
- BEST Masoor Dal recipe
- It's Creamy and Delicious
- A Quick & Easy Weeknight Meal
- A 30-minute Instant Pot recipe!
- Healthy and Nutritious
- Hits the spot on a Cold Winter Day
- Soothing and Comforting
- Vegan & Gluten-free (see FAQ below)
How to make Instant Pot Masoor Dal
Step 1 - Cook Masoor Dal in Instant Pot
1. Wash the red lentils well and drain completely.
2. Add the red lentils and water to the Instant Pot.
3. Now add tomatoes, turmeric powder, and salt. Stir.
4. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release all the way.
5. Once the masoor dal is cooked, this is what you should have.
6. Add the baby spinach and stir. The spinach will wilt within a minute.
Step 2 - Prepare Tadka
1. Add oil to a small tadka pan. Heat oil until it's hot.
2. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida (hing).
3. Now add garlic, dry red chilies, and Kashmiri red chili powder. Swirl the tadka pot around and cook for 30-45 seconds on low heat.
4. Add tadka to the cooked dal. Stir.
5. Add some garam masala.
6. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon. Stir.
7. Wait 15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Serve hot dal over hot rice with a side of onions. Enjoy!
Tips to make Creamy Masoor Dal Instant Pot
- Wash your red lentils thoroughly.
- There is no soaking required for this dish.
- Cook the dal separately in the Instant Pot.
- Then prepare your tadka and add to the dal while hot.
- Wait 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve Masoor Dal with white basmati rice or Instant Pot Jeera Rice.
- Red onion slices. To make the sliced onions simply add chat masala, lemon/lime juice, and Kashmiri red chili powder. It's so delicious with rice and dal.
- Papad, achaar, and yogurt are always a good idea with any dal chawal dish.
For a healthier option:
- Brown rice or quinoa along with red onion slices.
Store Masoor Dal in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the dal for up to 3 months.
TOP TIP: Wait 10-15 minutes before serving dal. Allow the flavors to marry together which will taste amazing with basmati rice.
Yes. Red lentils are heart-healthy and delicious.
Yes. Red lentils are naturally gluten-free. To make this recipe 100% gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free asafoetida/hing.
No. Red lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking, just make sure you wash and rinse the lentils thoroughly.
My suggestion is to make 1 ½ cups white basmati rice with 1 ¼ cups uncooked masoor dal. You'll have enough rice for dal.
You can use toor dal, moong dal, or chana dal. They would all work well in this recipe. Just make sure to soak these dals.
Yes. When making the tadka, simply replace oil with ghee.
Yes. Masoor Dal is healthy. This recipe has 17 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber per serving.
This recipe is already vegan since it uses oil instead of ghee. If you prefer ghee, replace avocado oil with ghee.
More Instant Pot Dal Recipes!
Pin & Enjoy!
Masoor Dal Instant PotHealthy, Vegan, Gluten-free
for masoor dal / red lentils dal
- 1 ¼ cups cup masoor dal/red lentils
- 5 cups water
- 2 ½ plum tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 70 grams baby spinach, add after dal is cooked
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed, add after tadka
for tadka / tempering
- 2 ½ tablespoon avocado oil
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida/hing, for gluten-free, use gf hing
- 1 ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 dry red chilies, broken
- 6-8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
Cook Masoor Dal in the Instant Pot
- Wash the red lentils well and drain completely.
- Add the red lentils and water to the Instant Pot.
- Now add tomatoes, turmeric powder, and salt. Stir.
- Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release all the way.
- Once the masoor dal is cooked, this is what you should have.
- Add the baby spinach and stir. The spinach will wilt within a minute.
- Add oil to a small tadka pan. Heat until it's hot.
- Add cumin seeds and asafoetida (hing).
- Now add garlic, dry red chilies, and Kashmiri red chili powder. Swirl the tadka pot around and cook for 30-45 seconds on low-heat.
- Add tadka to the cooked dal. Stir.
- Add some garam masala.
- Finish off with a squeeze of lemon. Stir.
- 7. Wait 15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Serve hot dal over hot rice with a side of onions. Enjoy!
This was simple and turned out great! Made some small modifications - I didn’t have Hing, I added some mustard seeds, and adjusted for salt. Will make again!
Seema Raniga says
This was such an easy and delicious way to get protein that is so yummy! Thanks for sharing this one Nisha!!!