Instant Pot Dal Makhani


You no longer have to go to an Indian restaurant to enjoy a bowl of delicious dal makhani. This pressure cooker dal recipe is quick and easy to make in an instant pot!

Instant Pot Dal Makhani: buttery lentils cooked in delicious Indian spices by Ashley of

This popular Punjabi dal is so easy to make in an instant pot! Dal makhani is a rich and creamy dal recipe that calls for a combination of lentils: whole lentils that maintain their texture and split lentils that melt together to create a creamy dal. Stir some ghee into the dal before serving to give it a rich buttery flavor, and you’ve got the perfect bowl of lentil soup.

I’ve been eating dal makhani for as long as I can remember. I was a pretty picky eater as a kid, but I was always on board when it came to eating buttery lentils. A favorite childhood meal: dal makhani, roti, spicy achar (pickle), and dahi (yogurt). So simple but so tasty. Just thinking about it makes me nostalgic.

Speaking of nostalgia, that’s pretty much the whole reason I’m even sharing this recipe. My mom makes the best dal makhani and right after I got married, she made sure to share her recipe with me. By her recipe I mean, “Ash, just use a pinch of this, a handful of that, and a few scoops of this.” 

In the past, her directions would overwhelm me… but now I think I’ve got the hang of converting “mom’s measurements” to actual measurements (#IndianKidProblems). Even though mom’s cooking is always the best, I have to say this dal makhani is absolutely spot on – or “on fleek” (wow… I feel super awkward and way too old to be using that phrase IRL. same with IRL…). The best part is, you can make this in your Instant Pot – a magical electronic pressure cooker that’ll have the dal done in no time at all. Trust me, this dal is restaurant-quality for sure.

Instant Pot Dal Makhani: buttery lentils cooked in delicious Indian spices by Ashley of

Serve this dal with basmati rice and dahi (yogurt). You can make my plain basmati rice, jeera rice, or matar pulao.

Instant Pot Dal Makhani: buttery lentils cooked in delicious Indian spices by Ashley of

Instant Pot Dal Makhani

Instant Pot Dal Makhani: buttery lentils cooked in delicious Indian spices by Ashley of

Instant Pot Dal Makhani

Dal makhani is one of the most popular lentil recipes. You can find it on the menu at almost every Indian restaurant. This is my mom's recipe and it's definitely restaurant-quality, if not better. Top these lentils with as much ghee as you want – the more ghee, the merrier!
4.9 from 49 reviews
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Servings 4
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian



  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 to matoes chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee adjust to taste
  • Cilantro garnish
  • Drizzle of heavy cream optional garnish


  • Soak the lentils in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and once they start to brown, add the onion and bay leaf. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes or until the onion begins to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, spices and stir, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes break down.
  • Add the lentils to the pot along with the 3 cups of water and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally.
  • Stir in the ghee and garnish with cilantro if desired.



  • Feel free to add more ghee to this recipe! Ghee is what gives this dal its delicious buttery flavor. You can also add a bit of heavy cream if you prefer!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Like this recipe? Then check out my cookbook: Indian Food Under Pressure for more Indian Instant Pot Recipes!

Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Try these:

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Instant Pot Saag
Instant Pot Carne Guisada
Instant Pot Habanero Chili
Goat Curry in a Hurry
Instant Pot Texas Beef Chili
Instant Pot Ground Lamb Curry
Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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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. Denielle says

    I couldn’t find ghee at the store I went to and don’t have time to shop around today. What would you recommend as an alternative? Butter? Coconut oil?

  2. Beth Romig says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. I make it frequently and it’s always a hit with my family. Even my 6 year old granddaughter, who didn’t want to try it, loved it and ate her whole bowl. Super easy and super delicous.

  3. Sumita says

    5 stars
    Thanks for a tried and true recipe! I had never made dal makhani before but since finding this recipe, I’ve made it a dozen times, each time consistently delicious!

  4. Sumita says

    I never liked Dal Makhani until I tried this one! I always avoided the heavy cream but when I saw this recipe didn’t call for it, I decided to try it. Delicious! I’ve probably made this a dozen times now and it always comes out fantastic! Thanks got another tried and true recipe. It also made me try ghee again and it really does give it a warm buttery richness that I enjoy!

  5. Samantha says

    Hi Ashley, this recipe looks yummy , just like all of your other recipes. I am definitely going to try it this weekend.
    I have a couple of questions if you could help me out.

    1. I noticed the amount of garlic in this recipe is double than ginger, usually they are in equal proportions .
    2. Also usually we add ginger & garlic before onions, but in this recipe it is in reverse order.
    3. Is it important to add Bay Leaves?

  6. Nancy says

    5 stars
    Last year we had the opportunity to spend about 10 days in India. During our vist, I ordered Dal Makhani a few times, because it was love at first bite. I’ve tried a number of recipes over the past year trying to duplicate it, but none came close. Your rendition is excellent. I made 2 changes, blenderized about 1/2 of the recipe to make it creamier and reduced the cayenne. So glad I decided up front to double the recipe!

  7. adam says

    5 stars
    I was only able to use red lentils and kidney beans, and I had to substitute ground spices for whole. Also had to make my own version of garam masaala, again using only ground spices, no access to whole spices except fresh cracked black pepper. I found this to help with the garam masala:

    I’ve tried to do Dal Makhani before and always failed. This time it was a success! Delicious!! Oh, and I didn’t soak the lentils, meant to rinse them but forgot, but I think the ones I bought were sufficiently cleaned before packaging because I didn’t notice anything off.

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