Instant Pot Coconut Dal (Kerala Parippu Curry)


A rich and creamy coconut dal that’ll have you loving lentils. We are cooking yellow lentils in flavorful, spiced coconut milk – and it only takes minutes to make! Top with a drizzle of ghee or butter for a decadent, comforting bowl of dal.

Coconut Dal

Coconut dal is rich, creamy, and takes minutes to make – it’s my go-to dal on days when I want something filling and comforting without the fuss.​

It’s essentially a Pour-and-Cook Recipe that calls for a handful of ingredients. This is what I make when I don’t have time to prep ingredients or when I have nothing planned for dinner. It has saved us from ordering takeout on many occasions (to my fast-food lovin’ husband’s dismay).

What is Kerala Parippu Curry?

If you’ve never had Kerala dal before, you can expect a rich, creamy, coconutty dal made with lentils that melt right into the soup.

This rich and creamy Kerala-style parippu (another word for “dal”) is a must during special occasions or festivals. It is one of the main dishes served during Onam, a harvest festival celebrated by people of all religions in Kerala.  This dal (along with Avial) is always prepared as part of the sadya, a vegetarian feast typically eaten on a banana leaf. No need to wait for a festival to make this – we eat it all the time!

“Ashley, I made this two days ago. I’ve been blown away by all your recipes but this one is now my favorite. It has that South Indian flavor and aroma that reminds me of my friends in Andhra Pradesh whom I haven’t been able to visit in forever. Thank you for sharing both north and south recipes of the finest cuisine in the world!”

Coconut Dal

“Beautiful recipe, Ashley! I have your cookbook and made this and paired it with the coconut rice recipe in the book as well. Deeeelish! I highly recommend your cookbook to everyone!”


Coconut Dal Ingredients

Traditionally, this dal is made with freshly ground coconut paste, but my version calls for full-fat canned coconut milk. Using coconut milk makes this dish even easier to make. I’ve tried the dal with the coconut paste, but I honestly prefer the ease and smoothness of rich, full-fat coconut milk. You can use either toor dal or yellow moong dal to make this recipe. Try both and tell me which you prefer!

  • Toor Dal: also known as split pigeon peas. You can also use yellow moong dal if you prefer.
  • Coconut Oil
  • Black Mustard Seeds
  • Curry Leaves
  • Serrano Pepper: or another type of green chili
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk: full-fat
  • Spices: salt, ground cumin, turmeric
  • Ghee: optional, nice touch when serving
Coconut Dal (Kerala Parippu Curry) Ingredients

How to Make Coconut Dal

Press the sauté button, and add the coconut oil to the pot. Once the coconut oil melts, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chili. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the remaining ingredients and pressure cook.

Once it’s done, give it a bit of time to cool down – it’ll look thin at first, but after a few minutes it’ll thicken up quite a bit.

How to Make Coconut Dal (Kerala Parippu Curry)
Instant Pot Coconut Dal (Kerala Parippu Curry)

What to Serve with Coconut dal:

Make sure to top this dal with a spoonful of ghee! Eat it with:

Instant Pot Kerala Parippu Curry (Lentils in Coconut Curry)

Coconut Dal (Kerala Parippu Curry)

Instant Pot Kerala Parippu Curry (Lentils in Coconut Curry)

This rich and creamy Kerala-style parippu (another word for “dal”) is one of the main dishes served during Onam, a harvest festival celebrated by people of all religions in the state of Kerala. It’s a simple and flavorful recipe made with coconut milk. Serve this dal with ghee drizzled on top!
4.93 from 28 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup split pigeon peas toor dal OR small yellow lentils (moong dal), rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 30 curry leaves
  • ½ – 1 Serrano pepper or green chili minced, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 13.5 ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Ghee for serving


  • Press the sauté button, add the coconut oil to the pot. Once the coconut oil melts, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chili to the pot. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the remaining ingredients to the pot.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure (or wait 10 minutes then release pressure).
  • Give this dal time to cool down; it will look thin upon opening the lid, however, after a few minutes it will thicken quite a bit. Drizzle ghee on top before serving (if desired).


  • You can make this recipe with either toor dal or moong dal – they have slightly different flavors but are both delicious! 
  • I updated this recipe (October 2020) so that it calls for rinsing the toor dal rather than soaking it first. My previous recipe called for soaking the dal for 2 hours, however, I no longer find this necessary for this type of dal. You can still soak the dal if you prefer to do so.
  • This dal will thicken the longer it sits so feel free to stir in a bit more water when reheating if needed.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Jennifer says

    5 stars
    This is an absolute favorite! I make it at least once a week.

    I prefer golden lentils. I sauté one onion and some garlic after sautéing the mustard seeds, curry leaves, & pepper.

    I also add a couple of big carrots cut into discs along with the rest of the ingredients before pressure cooking. I’m not vegetarian, so I like the rich taste of chicken broth in place of the water.

    At the end, I dump in a big handful or two of spinach or other greens lightly cut up and let them wilt in the hot dal before serving.

  2. KC says

    Can you please put serving size? Is this for one person, 2 people? I’m making it now and I don’t see that anywhere

  3. Christine Adams says

    Hi, I am in Australia and we really do not use Instant Pots. Could your recipes be made on the stove or a slow cooker. If so what would the conversion be.?

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