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instant pot dal makhani

  • Author: jenny goycochea
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: sides
  • Diet: Vegan


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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