Transform your red lentils into something amazing with my creamy Instant Pot Lentil Dal. It makes a really easy, super tasty, healthy & budget friendly dinner and is perfect for meal prepping as it reheats and freezes perfectly!
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Grab a few handfuls of lentils, some spices, and an Instant Pot and transform them into a pot of creamy, delicious Instant Pot Lentil Dal that’s economical, nutritious and will make your tastebuds dance!
This recipe might seem familiar, and that’s because it’s an adapted version of my Red Lentil Dahl. It didn’t need much changed to make it work really well in an Instant Pot. And as luck would have it, lots of you had Instant Pots for Christmas and have been asking for more Instant Pot recipes so how’s this for timing.
But, if you don’t have an Instant Pot or other other electric pressure cooker, and you really want to make this recipe, hop on over to my original Red Lentil Dahl recipe and you will find detailed stove-top instructions.
WHAT IS AN INSTANT POT?
Instant Pots are smart, programmable electric pressure cookers which were invented and designed in Canada and they are amazing. Mine is by far my favourite appliance and this is not sponsored by Instant Pot at all. I recommend them because I truly love mine.
They speed up cooking 2 to 6 times while using up to 70% less energy than other cooking methods. They are also able to function as slow cookers, rice cookers, yogurt makers and you can sauté in them. They are incredibly versatile and useful.
I use mine literally every single day for everything from cooking my Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, cooking grains, dried beans like my Pressure Cooker Black Beans and for making soup, stews and curry. I wouldn’t be without it.
This is the Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart 9-in-1 model:
It’s the newer version of mine and I think just perfect for a medium sized family. There are 3 of us and it easily makes enough for 2 dinners plus some leftovers.
I already have a stash of vegan Instant Pot recipes, and there will be lots more to come, so if you do decide to splash out on one you will have a plentiful supply of yummy things to cook going into the future.
HOW DO I MAKE INSTANT POT LENTIL DAL?
SEE MY VIDEO FOR A VISUAL GUIDE. FOR INGREDIENTS & FULL INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST
It really is so simple to make Instant Pot Lentil Dal and the results are absolutely fantastic. It’s one of our favourite family meals.
Here is what you need:
And here is how it’s done:
Sauté the onions in the Instant Pot then add the ginger, garlic and spices
Pour in some water and scrape the bottom of the pan well. Add lentils and tomatoes.
Add coconut milk and stir really well, then put the lid on, seal it and cook as directed in the full recipe below.
HOW TO SERVE INSTANT POT LENTIL DAL
Pair this creamy and delicious Instant Pot Lentil Dal with:
- Fluffy rice
- Cauliflower rice
- Naan bread
- The Lime Slaw from my Enchilada Lentil Tacos recipe
A sprinkle of cilantro, some fresh chopped tomato and a few chopped peanuts or cashews over the top (like in my pics), really compliment it too and help to turn it from midweek dinner, into a posh treat yo’self (or someone else) kind of meal.
THIS INSTANT POT LENTIL DAL IS:
- Super quick & easy
- Almost completely hands-off – Set the Instant Pot and forget.
- Incredibly budget friendly
- Super healthy
- Protein packed and filling
- Oil-free and really low in calories
- Perfect for batch cooking and meal prep
- Reheat friendly
- Freezer friendly
Instant Pot Lentil Dal
- 1 tablespoon olive oil , or use water for sautéing to make the recipe oil-free
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger , finely chopped or grated
- 2 heaping teaspoons garam masala
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes , add up to a teaspoon extra if you like it a spicy. You can use 1 fresh small red chili if you prefer
- 2 slightly heaping teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt , plus more to taste at the end
- 1 teaspoons ground black pepper , plus more to taste at the end
- 740 mls / 3 cups + 1 tablespoon water
- 400g / 2 heaping cups dried red lentils , (no need to soak)
- 3 large fresh tomatoes cut into chunks
- 1 400 ml / 13.5oz can / a little under 1¾ cup canned coconut milk , full fat or light
- Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the oil or a few tablespoons of water. Sauté the onions for 3 to 4 minutes until they are just starting to turn golden, then add the ginger and garlic. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn off the Instant Pot then add all of the spices and seasonings. Allow them to cook in the residual heat of the pot for about 1 minutes, stirring them constantly.
- Add the water to the pot, and using a metal spoon, have a really good scrape into the bottom of the pot all over, to mostly remove the brown bits from the bottom. This step is important because otherwise you could get the "burn" message popping up on your display later.
- Next add the lentils, tomatoes and coconut milk and give it all a really good stir. The lentils will likely have clumped up a bit so break them up as you stir.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, seal the vent and set it to MANUAL (PRESSURE COOK) on newer models, high pressure, for 8 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid and give it a really good stir then serve.