Instant Pot Spinach Dal (Dal Palak)


A creamy mildly spiced dal that calls for a handful of ingredients!

Dal Palak, also known as spinach dal, is a creamy, soupy, mildly-spiced dal. It’s comforting in cool weather and light enough to enjoy in warm weather.

It also requires minimal effort. It’s especially easy if you have my garlic paste and ginger paste prepared.

instant pot spinach dal

You can use any greens in this dal. I’ll sometimes use baby kale or fresh methi leaves. I’m sure it’ll taste good with whatever greens you have in the fridge. I already have a dill dal recipe, but I bet this dal would taste good with fresh dill or another herb too.

Make this a meal by serving it with some basmati rice or jeera rice, a side of yogurt/raita, and a salad. If you have some achar (spicy pickle), serve that on the side too!

instant pot spinach dal

Instant Pot Spinach Dal

Instant Pot Spinach Dal

This creamy, mildly spiced dal requires little effort and is my go-to dal on days when I’m too tired to cook. It's a comforting yet light dal, perfect overtop basmati rice.
4.65 from 17 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup small yellow lentils moong dal, soaked for 15 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ Serrano pepper or green chili minced


  • 4 cups water

Add Later

  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Cilantro garnish
  • Ghee for serving (optional, but highly recommend this!)


  • Soak the small yellow lentils (moong dal) in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Press the sauté button. Add the oil, and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds to the pot. Once they turn brown, add the garlic, ginger and Serrano pepper. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the spices. Give everything a quick stir, then add the water and lentils.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Stir in the garam masala and the spinach leaves. Once the leaves begin to wilt, garnish with cilantro and serve with a spoonful of ghee on top.
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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. Sharon says

    5 stars
    I made this using finely chopped swiss chard greens from my garden instead of spinach and it is so incredibly delicious – and such an easy recipe. I have run out of Onion Masala and this recipe does not need it. Yum!

  2. Audrey m says

    5 stars
    Tried this last night for the first time. Ended up great. Even wayyyy better for lunch today (refrigerator overnight allowed the flavors to meld more).

  3. Kim says

    I am making this for the second time and both times it has taken forever for the instapot to come to pressure. Is that normal for this recipe? It’s sealed.
    Love your recipes. Thank you so much.

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