Instant Pot Spinach Dal (Dal Palak)

58 Comments

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.
4.67 from 18 reviews
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Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Spices

  • 4 cups water

Add Later

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

Instructions
 

  • 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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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. 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.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Arya, sorry to hear that you didn’t like it! Just want to make sure your spices are all fresh? That can really make a difference. That said, this is meant to be a milder dal – for something more flavorful, give my masala dal a try 🙂

    • Karen says

      I think there’s way too much water and it turns out bland. Personally I always just double the amount of water, so 1 cup lentils/2 cups water, or even 2.5 cups max. We prefer a thicker dal though, not a soupy consistency.

  4. Deb says

    5 stars
    I make this without spinach, but the recipe is perfect! Such an easy standalone lunch, or a dinner with rice and veggies on the side! Reminds me of my mom’s daal 🙂 Thanks Ashley!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Liz, the dal should have definitely cooked in this amount of time. Can you check the seal on your IP? Was the valve closed? If you don’t think there’s an issue with the appliance then it could be that the dal is very old… sorry!

  5. Maneesha says

    Hi Ashley! I made this for a family dinner, and my mother took a bite and said, “Oh this is a new dish…hmm..lets try some..OH MY GOSH!! WOWWW!” Enough said. Mother-approved. It was da bomb! Thanks for another slam dunk recipe!

  6. Manjini says

    5 stars
    Delicious. No onions no tomatoes and still so delicious. I had a box of spinach, kale and chard mixed so I used two cups of that mix instead of just spinach and it was excellent. Got some veggies into my lil ones without them knowing lol. I have to say the only thing i dont like abt your blog is the video that keeps popping up. I dont know if this is becuase i am using my phone vs a laptop.
    I am so glad i discovered your page. I am definetly going to buy your cookbook.

  7. Holly says

    Hello! What oil do you use/prefer for your Indian recipes? I just got an instant pot and can’t wait to try some of your recipes! Thanks!

  8. B.T. says

    If using frozen spinach, do I need to change anything?
    The spinach come in little frozen balls.
    Can I just throw in several balls at the end, as if using fresh?
    Or, should I put them in with the lentils and cook?

  9. Jay says

    5 stars
    I found your blog when I bought my Nuwave Nutripot two months ago. All of your recipes (especially this one) come out perfectly! I’m hooked on the vegan Indian recipes.

  10. Anjana says

    5 stars
    I tried this for the first time. It came out perfect. However, I think 10 min it little too much. I only did 5 min in my IP and it came out perfect.

  11. ariana says

    Could I use toor dal for this recipe? Do I need to change anything about the soaking or cooking times?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Yup! It’ll have a different flavor though – you may also need to adjust the spices as toor dal is thicker. You can follow the directions as written though. Hope you like it!

    • Maggie says

      Hi really want to try this recipe but don’t have a IP can I make it on the stove top. Where could I find a recipe for that?
      Thank you

  12. Alexis says

    This was so easy and delicious! I’m now making it for a group – how would you double or triple it? Thanks!

    • ahimsa says

      Agreed. 7-8 minutes has worked well for me even without any soaking (using split, yellow mung daal).

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