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!