Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe

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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 MyHeartBeets.com

What is Dal Makhani?

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.

How to Make Dal Makhani

So how do we make dal makhani in an instant pot? Easily!

There are very few steps – we saute onions first, then garlic, ginger, spices, and eventually tomatoes. Add soaked lentils to the pot along with some water and pressure cook. That’s it!

The hardest part about making dal makhani is the time you spend waiting for it to be done, and even that is thankfully shorter when you use the IP.

Dal Makhani Ingredients

  • Whole and Split Lentils: I use a combination of whole black lentilswhole mung beans, whole masoor beans, red lentils, red kidney beans and I soak them in cold or room temperature water overnight.
  • Spices: whole cumin seeds, bay leaf, garam masala, salt, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne
  • Onion
  • Garlic: you can use minced garlic or garlic paste.
  • Ginger: you can use minced ginger or ginger paste.
  • Tomatoes
  • Ghee: this is an important ingredient in dal makhani because it’s what adds the creaminess, the butteriness (makhan) to the dal.
Instant Pot Dal Makhani: buttery lentils cooked in delicious Indian spices by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

Can I used canned beans instead of dried?

I’ve only tested this recipe using dried beans as I always keep dried beans in my pantry. Canned beans take up too much space in my little pantry and dried beans are also much more affordable. That said, I’m sure you can use canned beans but you’ll need to adjust the amount of water used in the recipe as canned beans are already cooked and won’t absorb water the way that dried beans will. My guess would be to start with two cans of beans. If you experiment, let us know how it goes! And if I get around to testing this recipe with canned beans I will be sure to update the post.

What can we eat with Dal Makhani?

Serve this dal with basmati rice and dahi (yogurt), and achar:

Here are some other recipes to serve with dal makhani:

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

Instant Pot Dal Makhni Recipe

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

Instant Pot Dal Makhni Recipe

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!
4.92 from 57 reviews
Pin Recipe Print Recipe
Servings 4
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

Spices

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne

  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee adjust to taste
  • Cilantro garnish
  • Drizzle of heavy cream optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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

Related Recipes

Cookbooks

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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Comments

  1. Tianna Tagami says

    How can I make this with frozen onion masala made from your recipe? I’ve only ever made it from scratch, but I have a TON of onion masala in my freezer, and I’d love to cut down prep time on this by using that.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 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!

  8. 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: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/142967/easy-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.

  9. Corina says

    5 stars
    This is my husband’s favourite dish and I’m happy to finally be able to make it at home! I learned a valuable lesson from my IP, it defaults to the last heat setting you use (I had my sauté setting on low to thicken up a recipe after pressure cooking). As a result, my cumin seeds never reached the sputtering phase and slowed down the start of my cooking process. The only change I made was from the recommended avocado oil to coconut oil, and from chopped tomatoes to canned tomato sauce. I didn’t have ghee, so I finished with butter and heavy cream. It was a little thin for my liking so I put the sauté setting back to low and let it simmer for a while. I’m wondering about lowering the 3 cups of water to some smaller amount. I know the trade-off for a thicker recipe is that you run the risk of the IP burn message. My hubby loved it and said it was better than our local Indian restaurant. Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Haley says

    5 stars
    This recipe is incredible. I have made it twice now and both times it’s been such a hit. Your website has really inspired me to learn more about Indian cuisine and grow the courage to try cooking so many new Indian dishes. This is my favorite of your recipes your far, I follow the recipe to a T – and I hardly do that LOL. Thank you!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Haley, that’s so great to hear! I’m glad you’re cooking more Indian dishes at home – I can’t wait to hear what you think about any other recipes you try 🙂

  11. jyoti rao says

    Can I make this with your pre-made onion masala? If yes, what how many ’rounds’ of the masala do I use for this recipe?

  12. Jill Beaty says

    2 stars
    I used 2/3 cup dried black lentils and 1/3 cup dried kidney beans (total one cup), and soaked them overnight per the recipe. I made the recipe as stated, but three cups of water made it very soupy…not creamy. Did I do something wrong? Too much water? Not enough lentils/beans?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Jill, dal makhani needs to be made with a mix of whole and split lentils. Whole lentils keep their shape and add texture and split lentils melt into the soup making it creamy. Try it again with a mix of lentils and I know you’ll love it.

      • Jill Beaty says

        One more question: is it 1 cup of whole lentils and 1 cup of split lentils (2 cups total) or 1 cup total to include whole and split? If the latter, how much that 1 cup should be split? Thanks!!

        • My Heart Beets says

          Hi Jill, just 1 cup total – you don’t need to use a lot of split, even a quarter will do. If you’d like an example, try a quarter cup of the following: whole black (urad), whole green mung beans, whole brown lentils (masoor) and split red lentils. You can sprinkle in a few kidney beans too. Let me know how that goes 🙂

  13. Sneha says

    I’m going to make this for 8 adults and 4 kids, should I double the recipe to accommodate? How many does this recipe serve? Thank you!

  14. Richa says

    I haven’t made it yet. Just wondering if it’s one cup of split lentils and one full cup of whole lentils OR 1 cup of split/whole lentils combined. Thanks!

  15. Jackie says

    4 stars
    Hello, I only soaked the whole dal, not the masoor dal, and only for a few hours. Also I only cooked on high pressure for 10 minutes, NPR 7 mins. 30 seems really ridiculous! But anyway my Indian grandmother liked it and got a second helping!!! But she said “why did soak it? We don’t soak dal.”

  16. Julie says

    So I thought your masala dal was my favorite, until I tried this. I’ve made it twice in three days because it disappears so quickly! Just fabulous. Such deep flavor. I am about to try your Instant Pot Bengain Bharta too.

  17. Alex says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley — count me as another big fan of this! Very popular in my home 🙂

    Just checking in on subbing in your onion masala — I think a cup would do, and maybe dial back the spices a little bit, or would you recommend something else? But this is already so easy and delicious as-is!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Alex, I’m so happy to hear that you like this dal makhani so much! I haven’t tried but I would guess 1 cup of onion masala too! That’s how much I use when I make my langar dal recipe and it turns out perfect. Let me know how it goes!

  18. Warren says

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a recipe for tasty bite madras lentils and this looks very close. I can’t wait to make this and compare the two. I love indian cuisine and its pretty much my favorite ethnic food. I cant wait to try your lemon rice and butter chicken with just a few modifications. I’ve been in love with cooking my entire life and I chuckled when I read that you sing and dance to mariah carey while cooking. I am just as guilty of being weird in the kitchen. I live alone so nobody catches me lol! I moved to michigan several years ago and I cant find as good of ethnic stores as I had in california. I was wondering if you have any recommendations for online Indian markets and how I’d get ahold of fresh curry leaves?

    • Warren says

      5 stars
      By the way, I own more than one instant pot and they are well loved! I just recently bought the ultra so I could use it as a sous vide for steak on the grill.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Warren, I can’t wait to hear what you think – let me/us know how it compares! I’ve tried those lentils before and in my (very biased) opinion, I think my recipe is much better lol. You can actually find fresh curry leaves on amazon — though they’re more expensive. In stores you can get a pack for a buck!

  19. tillandsia says

    5 stars
    My boyfriend and I adore Indian dishes and they comprise more than half of all our cooking. This recipe blew us away. Highly recommend the yogurt for creamy balance to the spicy goodness. Excellent!

  20. James Clarke says

    This sounds delicious – but isn’t Dal Makhani made with urad dal and rajma only? Not mung dal, red lentils, massor dal etc? Using those other lentils will make a delicious dal – but I’m not sure I would call it Dal Makhani. Am I wrong?

  21. Lee says

    5 stars
    I have made this probably ten times, and every time is perfect. I didn’t know I was into vegetarian recipes until I started looking into curries with beans and lentils! I absolutely love this one.

    We have made this with crispy baked tofu as a topper, as well as scallion pancakes instead of naan, and you literally can’t lose. The flavors are always intense and delicious, and it’s even better as leftovers. My one aside: I disagree that this makes four servings. We always end up freezing half of this recipe and get about 8 meals (divided across two people) from it! So, it’s certainly not a complaint. 🙂

    But anyway. Thanks again!!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Lee, I’m so happy to hear that!! Thank you for letting me know how much you like the dal makhani 🙂 Also, love the baked tofu topper idea – I’m going to have to try that!

  22. Nandini says

    Hello! I’m new-ish to the instant pot (but thanks to Indian mom quite familiar with pressure cooking) and I love the IP because I can set it up with a timer in the morning before work. Would this strategy work with this recipe? So the dal would soak all day rather than overnight? Just found your blog and looking forward to trying your recipes! Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Nandini, I would strain and rinse the dal well after soaking then add fresh water to cook with. Also, dal absorbs water as it soaks and so the proportions could also be off if you didn’t add fresh water. Hope that helps! Let me know what you think of the recipe 🙂

  23. Patrick Glenn says

    4 stars
    I really liked the recipe. I made my own additions. 1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds, 4 dried kashmiri chilis, about 10 fresh curry leaves (instead of bay leaves), 1/2 tsp of fennugreek seeds. 2 1/2 cups water.

    put the mustard seeds with the cumin seeds wait for popping. Add the chilis with the rest of the spices as well as the curry leaves. Add the fennugreek seeds with soaked lentils.

    I really liked the variety of lentils in this dish just felt like it was missing a little flavor from I am used to.

  24. Kyema Greeley says

    5 stars
    I made this last night in the IP. It was my second recipe and it was delicious! I added the ghee and it was so incredible it was eaten before I even realized that I forgot the cream!
    My husband and I love leftovers to bring to work the following day. How much water would i use to double this recipe?
    Thank for you this delicious and easy recipe!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Kyema, I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for letting me know how much you liked this recipe!! To double the recipe, double all of the ingredients but leave the cook time the same 🙂 Hope that helps!

  25. Mary E Greene says

    This was the first Indian food I ever ate and the first I learned to cook at home. I love it and it loves me. Thank you, Ashley, for making it possible for us to learn to cook these foods at home. And of course, thanks for making things InstantPot-friendly.

  26. Laura says

    5 stars
    Super delicious! This was a huge hit with my family. I do have a question, though: My husband would like this spicier but I want to keep it mild for the kids. Besides making two pots of dal to accommodate him (which I may do!), do you have any suggestions on spicing it up at the table? Thanks!

  27. TB says

    My husband made this in 8 minutes and he said it was great. Is there a reason why the recipe calls for 30 minutes?

    • My Heart Beets says

      That’s awesome! It takes me 30 minutes to get the dal cooked the way I like it – maybe he used all split lentils? If it worked though that’s what counts!

  28. Amelie says

    Made it tonight with soaked whole mung beans and splitted red lentils. It was amazing! Will make it again and again for sure ! Topped with pickled red onions and salted yogurt, yummy!

  29. Bea says

    I can’t wait to make this! Question: if I wanted to double the recipe, do I simply double amount of lentils and water? What about the spices and tomatoes, etc.? Thanks so much!

  30. Aliyah says

    I’ve made this twice with an addition of cream at the end… and it is so good.

    I deviated yesterday and used someone else’s recipe… fail. Your recipe is the clear winner. Thanks!

  31. Sarah says

    5 stars
    I made this last night and it was amazing! Best dal I’ve ever made! Even the husband thought so. The flavors were divine and wasn’t too watery or too thick – just perfect in every way. I actually didn’t soak my lentils for too long (scatter-brained me forgot) – put them in water around noon and cooked them around 7pm. Still came out fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us!

  32. Manisha says

    Hi can you just use red lentils alone for this dish or is it important to use a blend? I have canned kidney beans but if it’s just 1 cup total thought maybe I would just use red lentils. Thx!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Manisha, dal makhani is always made with a combination of lentils – you can use red lentils but it won’t have the same flavor (it should still be good though!). Please let me know how it turns out for you 🙂

  33. Abha Patel says

    I enjoyed the flavor, but my Dal came out way more watery than anticipated. Was I supposed to use a total of one cup of Dal? And 30 min seems excessive for pressure cooking. My normal Indian pressure cooker would do the same in less time. Thanks!

  34. Kiran K says

    5 stars
    Attempted the soaking of the lentils and unfortunately it produced shoots which looked to much like aliens to me (although I have been told this makes them even more nutritious) so due to a lack of time I did the recipe skipping the soaking and the dhal came our perfect!! Made it for my husband’s rather large punjab family and they all loved it too. Going to try the saag receipe next as it’s one of my favourites.

  35. HBL says

    Made it as described, except that I did not presoak the lentils, and I had to sub 1/2 canola/1/2 butter for the ghee as I don’t have any. I adjusted the seasoning at the end with a little salt. Otherwise it was fabulous! Made a ton and lentils were perfectly cooked without the presoaking- I did do a full natural release though. Thanks!

  36. Patricia says

    5 stars
    This was easy to make and quite good! I used 1/2t cayenne and it has some kick! A very good fish and it looks so nice too.

  37. Brandy says

    5 stars
    This was my very first Instant Pot recipe, mostly because all I needed to buy for it was the Garam Masala. I used all red lentils (because that was all that we had in the house) and even though they mostly melted away, the flavor and the texture of this turned out amazing! I was literally eating it out of the container I was trying to put it away in! Thank you for a great recipe!

  38. Cyndi says

    5 stars
    This was my first recipe in my new Instant Pot (after years using a Fagor multicooker, so not a total newbie ). We loved this. It was thicker than some dal recipes I’ve tried and had perfect spice, as usual. I did add a package of chopped spinach and traded a small jalapeno for the cayenne. I have to say I’ve tried many of your recipes and every one has been amazing. Thank you!

  39. Beth says

    Hi!! I really can’t wait to try this one out. Question for you about the lentils, though. Anytime we’ve used red lentils, they disintegrate. Wouldn’t soaking them just make them fall apart overnight?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Beth! I soak everything together in a bowl because it’s easier – the red lentils won’t dissolve if you soak them overnight but if you want to keep them separate, you can. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe 🙂

  40. Jason says

    5 stars
    I got my Instant Pot a couple weeks ago and have made one or two of your recipes already. I am eating this dal makhani as we speak. It is delicious!

    I doubled the recipe (to have enough to freeze). I used 1/2 cup each of split red lentils, whole urad dal, whole moong dal, and small red kidney beans. I used a whole 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes and doubled most of the ingredients (a little less than 6c water). It came close to the half-full line on my 6Q Instant Pot. I got busy with work, so it sat keeping warm for longer than I planned, but it turned out beautifully. Thank you!

      • Archana says

        Worked great for me too! Delicious! And thank you for being specific in what you used to double the recipe – I always double or even triple to make enough for a few days for hte family. And I use canned tomatoes instead of regular. So this helped a lot!

  41. Irene says

    5 stars
    Ashley, after buying Instant Pot, the first recipe I tried was your Dal Makhani (I used chana dal, whole moong, and whole masoor), and it turned out sooooo good that I found myself eating some of the leftovers for breakfast! 🙂 In the past, I could never perfect it on the stove, but the texture and taste in this recipe is just wonderful – thanks so much!..

  42. Sonia Li says

    5 stars
    Made this today and it turned out so good! A couple of changes that worked out well- I did not soak the whole lentils before cooking, decreased the water from 3 cups to 2.5, added a diced potato, 3 chicken thighs, and ground cumin instead of cumin seeds. Hearty, full of flavor, and lots of delicious leftovers to look forward to! Thank you so much for the recipe.

  43. Andrea says

    5 stars
    I turned here for my very first Instant Pot recipe and it was amazing!! I didn’t have time to soak the lentils so I threw them in dry and cooked for 30 minutes, and let sit on warm for another 30. Just perfect! Thanks so much.

  44. Andrea says

    I LOVE this. Our most-used cookbook has been Anupy Singla’s Indian Slow Cooker, but we just got out of the habit. Since we got an Instant Pot, I’ve wanted to make some Indian legume dishes. This was the first one I’ve tried, and I’m making it again today, three days later! Thank you for sharing.

  45. Toni says

    I don’t have an instant pot but do have a CrockPot. Can I use it for this recipe but cook it longer?
    And if so how long?

  46. Johanne says

    The Instant Pot I just bought doesn’t have the bean/chili option. Should I use the soup/broth, meat/stew, or multigrain button? Just discovered this site and am so excited for more indian recipes!

  47. Heidi says

    I thought I followed the instructions but what I ended up with looks more like a watery lentil soup rather than a dal. Am I not using the Instant Pot correctly? How can I be sure it is sealed and pressurized while cooking? Thanks.

  48. Amy Patel says

    5 stars
    This was just incredibly delicious and authentic- as was your roti I made to accompany it. My husband said it was delicious about 15 times, and he is usually always very unenthusiastic about “vegetarian night”. Im not Indian but he is, and I quickly fell in love with Indian food when introduced many years ago. When we adopted a somewhat paleo- 100% gluten free lifestyle, so many Indian staples were off the table. I am just so excited to have found your site. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Amy, that makes me so happy to hear!! And lol – my husband isn’t a fan of “vegetarian night” either haha! I hope you’ll let me know what you both think about any other recipes you try/like!

  49. Radha says

    5 stars
    thank you for sharing this recipe. I;ve made this multiple times and its been a hit everytime.

  50. Samantha says

    5 stars
    Just made this and it’s delicious! Didn’t have cumin seeds so just used ground cumin. Thank you for this great recipe

  51. Dal Lockwood says

    I don’t know if I posted my question properly. Does your recipe mean a cup each of whole and split lentils or does it mean one cup if combined lentils?

  52. Dal Lockwood says

    Do you mean a cup each of split and whole lentils or a cup combined of lentils? This is for your recipe Instsnt Pot Dal Makhani.

  53. Justine says

    May I ask if you have a 5, 6 or 8 qt Instant Pot? I am trying to determine based on cups of ingredients/cans of beans, from multiple recipes, whether I would need the largest size in order to fit all of the ingredients.
    Thank you!
    Justine

  54. Hannah says

    5 stars
    This recipe is incredible. I followed the recipe exactly but did make some additions (no revisions ) I added 2 diced Serrano peppers, one diced potato, and a cup of leftover frozen peas and carrots. It was amazing. Better than a restaurant. Will be a staple in our home! I hope you post a good Instant Pot Aloo Gobi recipe in the future! This is the fourth Indian IP recipe I’ve made of yours..all amazing! Plan on leaving more 5 star reviews 🙂

  55. R. says

    Hi. Can you explain how to soak the lentils? When I google it, most sites I see say don’t soak more than 12 hours. Some suggest changing the water, etc. When you add the water to soak them, do you refrigerate that until it’s time to cook? Do you change the water? Should it be airtight? Sorry to be so clueless! And thanks for the great recipes! Your butter chicken is now a staple for our family! Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi! That’s a good question! Just put the lentils in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Let them sit on the counter overnight. You can change the water if you want to, but you don’t have to. Just make sure to give the lentils a really good rinse before using them (dump out the water they were soaking in – don’t keep or use that). Let me know how this turns out for you and let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

  56. Rebecca says

    This smelled wonderful. I soaked the whole lentils for 24 hrs and then followed directions but it turned out watery and just isn’t very good. I’m so bummed. Not sure why that happened. Any suggestions should I attempt again? Don’t soak? Or soak and less water?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Rebecca, I’m surprised it’s watery – did you dump out the water the beans were soaking in and add fresh water when cooking? Also, give it a little time, lentils continue to thicken after they are cooked. If they do thicken, add ghee when serving for more flavor. Please update me and let me know how it turns out!

      • Rebecca says

        Thank you for responding. I did soak and then drain them and use fresh water for cooking. I did notice the lentils absorbed the water they were soaking in so maybe that was the problem. And as you said, it did thicken up but the taste was watered down. I will try again though because the base smelled wonderful. Maybe I’ll try a different brand of lentil too… Thanks!

  57. mara says

    is there any way to “fix” the dish if it’s too salty? freak accident with salt shaker thx to hubby not tightening the lid 🙁

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mara, this is probably too late of a reply (my baby keeps me so busy!), but I really hope you were able to save the dish! You can add potatoes to the dish! Or try topping it with some sour cream. And if you want to make a second batch then just leave out the salt the second time around and combine the two batches.

  58. Romaida says

    Hi, I love your recipes and am looking forward to making this one. I can’t seem to find the amount of tomatoes needed in the recipe. Did I miss it?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Romaida, the recipe calls for 2 tomatoes (it’s listed right above the water in the ingredients section). I think I saw that you got the answer to this question in the Instant Pot for Indian Food group on Facebook. Sorry for the late reply – I was on vacation last week 🙂

  59. Rachel says

    5 stars
    I made this vegan by substituting Earth Balance in place of ghee! It turned out great but definitely a bit thin. Thickens up nice with flour but will use less water next time.

    Also, the “print” icon on the recipe appears to be broken!

  60. Stina says

    5 stars
    EXCELLENT recipe. I ended up using some homemade chicken bone broth in place of water and a little less than a can of diced tomatoes in place of fresh tomatoes (it’s January in the PNW). Thank you – it was a great introduction to the Instant Pot! (the first meal I’ve tried) Thank you for your generosity in sharing:)

  61. Alli says

    Thank you for sharing your mom’s delicious recipe. I love lentils but every time I make them, my kids start moaning and groaning. Not tonight – everyone gobbled them up!

  62. Alli says

    Just discovered your blog. We are a quasi-paleo family and Indian food lovers. Excited to try this and many of your other recipes! 🙂

  63. Katie says

    5 stars
    I made this last night with my stovetop pressure cooker. I cooked it on high for 7 minutes with a quick release after soaking it for almost 18 hours. I didn’t click on the black lentil link in the recipe and used beluga lentils (whoops!) with red and mung beans instead and it still turned out great! We aren’t paleo, so I served it with some pressure cooked white rice and yogurt and my kids 7,5, and 2 loved it (I did leave out the cayenne). We aren’t Indian, but kids are always suckers for Indian food and we love your recipes.

  64. Susan Clevenger says

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My son and I made this for our lunch today. It turned out fantastic!

  65. sarah says

    5 stars
    Dear Ashley,

    I am in love with most (if not all) of your recipes and have tried many already: the n’oatmeal bowls and naans have even become a staple in my house! 🙂 I just got myself an instant pot and I am loving it, but i am quite new to cooking with it. I can’t wait to try this recipe but I have one, perhaps silly question: when you say one cup of lentils, soaked overnight, do you mean one cup of dry lentils – which are then soaked and thus increased by weight – or one cup of lentils equivalent to cooked lentils – which will obviously be much less lentils due to all the absorbed water? thank you so much for all the inspiration and delicious recipes!!

    • [email protected] says

      Hi Sarah! Glad to hear you like my recipes 🙂 There are no silly questions! I mean one cup of dry lentils (which are then soaked overnight) 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what you think of the recipe!

  66. Ali Kazim says

    5 stars
    Dear Ashley,

    Just dropped in to say thank you for this delicious recipie. I’veven just tried it on my brand new instant pot. It was my first experience with pressure cooking, which turned out quite successful. I was bit hesitant to buy a pressure cooker, due to various accidents we hear, but I think it’s quite safe, if we follow the instructions.

    I’m going to try other ‘desi’ recipes too. I wonder if you’ve got one for mutton karhai?

    Best regards

  67. Denise says

    Hi there!
    I’m planning on trying this next week, would subbing ground cumin be totally crazy (new to cooking Indian food) I always have it in the house.
    Thanks in advance!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Denise, cumin seeds when spluttered in hot oil have a really unique flavor – one that’s different from ground cumin. I’d suggest getting cumin seeds if you can! Can’t wait to hear how this turns out for you 🙂

    • Mary says

      I unfortunately was out of cumin seeds, so I gave the ground cumin a try! I used crushed canned tomatoes, as well (about 1 1/2 cups). It was still absolutely delicious! Cumin seed is on my list for the next run to the spice shop…
      Thanks for the recipe!

  68. Yosey says

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe. I had tried other recipes, but this was simpler, easy to follow and turned out great. Thank you!

  69. Tiffany J says

    5 stars
    Perfect, we loved it! I didn’t persoak my beans otherwise followed the directions and it came out perfectly done and flavorful.

  70. Heidi says

    I wanted to offer up a comment to the “soaking the lentils overnight” issue. I made this recipe (or one very similar to it about a month ago) and it turned out just ok. A good friend of mine who is from India and has been using pressure cookers since way before the IP was around said that regardless of the fact we are told there is no need to soak the beans for Dal, it just turns out better if you do. I’m soaking my lentils (combination of whole black lentils – Urud – and some split red lentils) and will let you know how the consistency compares to non-soaking.

  71. Rhoda says

    Hi! I am so great full for finding this site for Indian recipes using instant pot!! I just bought one and I am looking forward to making healthier meals for my family. I will be trying this recipe tonight! By the way, Would you happen to have a recipe for rajma?? Thanks for this website and I am looking forward to more of your instant pot recipes!!

  72. Dr. Bob says

    Nice recipe, would like to see it fully adapted to the Instant Pot to avoid having to soak the lentils overnight or for 24 or 48 hours or whatever. The Instant Pot is supposed to speed up and simplify cooking, not make it longer and add steps.

    • My Heart Beets says

      You can always skip the soaking part and cook it longer if you want. I soak lentils to reduce phytic acid – according to this article by Chris Kresser, soaking legumes can remove 30–70 percent of phytic acid. Also, it cooks pretty quickly and in a single pot, so it’s still faster than traditional cooking methods imo.

  73. RL says

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for a great recipe. This is actually the first recipe I used in my brand new Instant Pot! I made the following modifications: 1/3 c french green lentils (didn’t have black lentils), 1 regular sized can of diced tomatoes instead of 2 whole tomatoes. I will say the 1tsp of cayenne was very spicy, but my boyfriend loved it! The ghee at the end transformed this dish into pure luxury! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  74. Linda Marie Yax says

    I don’t usually soak red lentils or moong dal(split mung beans) what happens if you don’t soak?

    • Linda Marie Yax says

      Because they are not whole lentils,right? Will they work? I don’t have black lentils.

      • My Heart Beets says

        Linda, you don’t have to soak the split daal – I keep these three types of lentils mixed together in one big container so it’s just easier for me to soak them all at the same time.

  75. Jana says

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I did sit down and do an approximate carb break-down of it for anybody who’s interested. I came up with a total of 71g carbs and approximately 20.6g fiber for the entire recipe, so 50.4g net carbs. If you do this as 4 servings (I didn’t see a number of servings mentioned but that’s what I’m going to ballpark it as) that’s about 12.6g carbs per serving. I’m on a low-carb diet and I’m definitely looking forward to making this as a treat! I love dal makhani so so much and I was worried I’d never be able to eat it again, so thank you so so much for posting this recipe! I don’t have a Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, so I’m going to try it out in a crock pot/slow cooker.

  76. Fran says

    This recipe looks wonderful. I don’t have an Instant Pot, how long would you cook with a regular electric pressure cooker? Would you use the high setting? Thanks so much.

  77. Jen says

    Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful recipes you post. They are so perfect for my family. Not only am I trying to eat healthier and have a love for my Instant Pot, but my husband and children are Indian as well, so I try to incorporate the cuisine in our dinner rotation. Whenever I ask my mother in law for recipes, she has no clue about measurements of spices and only counts in Indian pressure cooker whistles, haha. So far, we’ve tried the egg curry, carne guisada, baingan ka bharta, and sarson ka saag. All were so wonderful and delicious! Thank you for posting such easy and tasty recipes. 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Jen!! And I completely understand – my mom used to give me directions in whistles too, lol! I’m really happy to hear that you’ve tried and liked so many recipes on the blog – makes my day 🙂

      • Shamiana says

        In a slow cooker it is 8-10 hours but then it tastes better the next day because the lentils aren’t quite as soft as they need to be on day 1. In a pressure cooker it is 30 minutes but then you have to keep an eye on the pressure valve and ensure you have the the right ratio of water to lentils and not freak out when the pressure valve starts making lots of noise. My Indian mom has the pressure cooker method down perfectly but I haven’t been able to master it. And for that, I am considering the IP

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