Instant Pot Everyday Dal

28 Comments

This recipe for everyday dal calls for a very short list of ingredients and takes minimal effort to make.

instant pot everyday dal

So what’s in this everyday dal? Just split lentils and water. A little salt and turmeric too. That’s it.

I realize this “everyday dal” might sound bland… BUT, the key to making this dal flavorful is in the tempering. Depending on where you’re from, you may call it tadka or chhonk or vaghar. The idea is the same: you sizzle spices in hot oil or ghee. And then you pour that flavorful spiced oil on top of the dal just before serving.

Feel free to switch up the tadka to give this dal some variety, especially if you end up making it often. Try it with sliced garlic or caramelized shallots/onions or curry leaves or with a pinch of hing.

everyday dal

Cook dal and rice at the same time in the same pot!

The cook time for this dal is the same as that of basmati rice, and so I usually cook the two together in the same pot. Just put a trivet into the pot with the dal and place an oven-safe container with rice and water on top of the trivet. I’ve included these “pot-in-pot” directions in the recipe card.

instant pot everyday dal

Everyday Dal is for Everyone!

This is a great way to make dal for the whole family because the tadka is easy to adapt to taste and spice preference.

I usually make a spicy tadka for me, my husband, and our toddler (that’s the tadka I’ve shared in the recipe card below) and a mild but flavorful tadka for my infant.

I get a lot of questions from parents about how to introduce Indian food to little ones. I think this dal is a great way to do that. (But I’m also just a food blogger, so please talk to a pediatrician before starting your kiddo on solids).

My youngest, Ace, is now 8-months-old and eats non-spicy spices. And so when I make this dal, I’ll make a separate tadka for Ace using ghee, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and spices like garam masala, paprika, black pepper.

I also mix soft veggies/purees into his dal, so he gets more food variety/nutrients. He really enjoys this dal – for now anyway, heh.

This everyday dal is a great dish to make on days when you’re short on time/energy but still want to enjoy a homemade meal. I hope you love this dal for its simplicity.

instant pot everyday dal

Instant Pot Everyday Dal and Rice (Pot-in-Pot)

instant pot everyday dal

Instant Pot Everyday Dal and Rice (Pot-in-Pot)

This is a great way to make dal for the whole family because the tadka is so easy to adapt to taste and spice preference. I usually make a spicy tadka for me, my husband and our toddler (that's the tadka I've shared here) and a much simpler tadka for my infant. Also, feel free to switch up the tadka to give this dal some variety, especially if you end up making it often. 
5 from 10 reviews
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Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

Everyday Dal

To make PIP (Pot-in-Pot) Rice:

  • 1 cup rice soaked for 15 minutes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Tadka

Instructions
 

Everyday Dal and Rice (PIP)

  • Soak dal in water for 15 minutes. If making rice, also soak for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Put the dal ingredients into the instant pot.
  • If making rice, place the rice ingredients into an oven-safe container. Place a trivet into the pot with the dal, and then place the oven-safe container on top of the trivet.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure.

How to Make Tadka:

  • Add ghee to a small pot or pan on the stove and once the ghee is hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the cumin seeds turn brown, add the green chilies stir for a minute then add the spices. Stir this into the cooked dal immediately prior to serving.
  •  

Notes

Feel free to switch up the tadka to give this dal some variety, especially if you end up making it often. Try it with sliced garlic or caramelized shallots/onions or curry leaves or with a pinch of hing.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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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. Barbara Wade says

    5 stars
    Just made this! Delicious! Only had split moong dal but otherwise followed the recipe exactly! This will definitely be made often!

  2. Asha says

    5 stars
    This has become my go to almost daily recipe. I change the dals around sometime, with mixed dals or only masoor dal or only moong dal. For convenience sake, I do the tadka in sauté mode and then cook the dal. It comes out perfect each time. Thank you,Ashley!

  3. Leah C says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, I just wanted to say thanks so much for your recipes —they have made cooking accessible to me in a way its never been before. I work two jobs and usually don’t feel like I have the time or energy to cook, and when I do I usually feel really overwhelmed by all the fancy recipes with very many ingredients and steps that are in cookbooks and blogs.

    Your recipes are so simple and quick, since finding this site for the first time in my adult life I’ve been cooking most of my meals from scratch!! I already feel healthier and better in my body. Thank you.

    This everyday dal was a revelation—I had no idea that lentils with just a little bit of seasoning could be such a satisfying and tasty meal! I’ve eaten it every day for the last week and its kept me going. Flavor is good, couldn’t be simpler to make.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Leah, I’m glad to hear that you’re liking my recipes so much, especially the everyday dal. Thank you for leaving this comment 🙂 I’ll keep working on simple/flavorful recipes!

  4. Irene says

    5 stars
    The best dal I have ever made!!! 🙂 Thanks, Ashley! In my tadka I had some fresh curry leaves, hing, and chopped ginger, among other things that you suggest.

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