I have been trying to incorporate more plant based meals into our weekly repertoire. You know, because health. So this easy instant pot dal makhani is perfect! My husband and I love Indian food and the bonus is that the majority of the cuisine is vegetarian or vegan and yet still super flavorful, hearty and satisfying. We are a huge fan of lentils! They are cheap and the perfect vessel for tons of spices. Dal or Daal in Indian cuisine refers to lentil based dishes and there are about a million varieties. Dal makhani is made with black urad dal lentils and red kidney beans. You can find urad dal lentils at most mediterranean or middle eastern markets or grocery stores. You can substitute regular black lentils, but they won’t have the same texture as urad dal.
The best part about this recipe is that it’s made in the instant pot. Meaning, no soaking beans overnight. No long stewing times. Everything goes into the pot and dinner is ready! I have been experimenting with the ‘multigrain’ function on my instant pot which allows for a brief soaking period before starting the cooking process resulting in super tender beans and lentils. The instant pot is truly a wonder and I have loved it since the day I got it. Not a sponsored post, just a huge fan.
Don’t forget to serve this with your favorite naan bread!
Products I used in this recipe:
Lentils are one of my favorite ways to add protein to plant based meals and these are so flavorful and helpful with the instant pot!
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 serrano, minced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon indian chili powder (can substitute ancho chili powder if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups urad dal (you can substitute black lentils, but urad dal is so much better)
- 1 cup dried red kidney beans
- 7 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
- chopped cilantro, for serving
- For the dal: Turn your instant pot to the sauté function on low. Add the oil to the pot and the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until the seeds are fragrant. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and serrano and cook until softened, stirring regularly to prevent the spices from burning. Add the garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, cinnamon, and cloves, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, red beans, 6 cups of the water and the salt.
- Lock the lid in place and change to the ‘multigrain’ function and set the timer for 45 minutes on high. The multigrain function allows for a brief soaking of the beans and lentils which helps them become more tender. Allow for a natural pressure release, add the last cup and a half of water, and then set the pressure cooker to high for 10 minutes. Using a fast release, remove the lid, stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the lentils with heavy cream and top with chopped cilantro before serving.