Why This Recipe Works
This Instant Pot Dal Makhani recipe is great because theres no need to pre-soak the lentils! Simply wash and rinse them before adding to the pot.
As you can see in this Instant Pot lentils recipe, making lentils in the Instant Pot takes less than 10 minutes. On this recipe we are cooking them for 30 minutes so its more than enough time to get them nice and tender and soak up all those flavors If you were to make this dish on the stove top, it would take hours!
This Instant Pot Dal Makhani is so creamy that with just one bite you are going to love it. The first thing youll notice will be its velvety smoothness, followed by the vibrant flavors of spices used. For a vegan dish, you wont miss the meat at all! Its so savory and has such deep flavor from the spices.
How To Cook Lentils In The Instant Pot
How to cook lentils in the Instant Pot! Includes different lentil varieties, suggested cook times, the proper water:lentil ratio, and two easy lentil recipes to make in your Instant Pot!
Learning how to cook lentils in the Instant Pot literally changed my life. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but it really took my meal prep and batch cooking game to the next level. But it wasnt always that way.
I never used to cook lentils before I got an Instant Pot. The idea of soaking them overnight, draining them, and babysitting them on the stove felt too time-consuming. Instead, I just bought canned or boxed lentils at the store.
But the Instant Pot makes it SO much easier to cook lentils, not to mention so much more flavorful. You can throw them in the Instant Pot with liquid, walk away, and come back to perfectly cooked lentils.
Over the last few years, I have cooked literally hundreds of pots of lentils, so now Im sharing all my tips on cooking lentils in the Instant Pot. And, this blog post also features two incredibly easy Instant Pot lentil recipes!
As for the Instant Pot itself, even the most basic model will cook your lentils perfectly. For most home cooks, the 6 quart DUO60 or DUO60 Plus is the best option. If you want a more recent version that has nifty features , try the DUO Evo Plus.
Want More Easy Dal Recipes
- Definitely watch the video and the method for making Pressure cooker dal and rice at the same time.
- If you like creamy dals , then you want to make this fantastic Pressure cooker Langarwali dal for sure.
- You want a light soup that’s more Western than Indian, try this Instant Pot Red lentil soup.
- If you want spinach and lentils together, you will like this Instant Pot Lentil soup
If you love this Dal Makhani Instant Pot recipe as much as I do, make sure you share it with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest so they can try it too.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! Just click on the stars in the recipe card to rate. Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!
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Pick The Right Dals For Dal Makhani
Dal Makhani is traditionally made with whole black urad dal and rajma . There are many recipes which will tell you otherwise, and ask you to use any lentils available to you. But if you are taking the effort to make something like this, its worth an extra trip to the store to buy the right ingredients for this recipe. If you stay in the U.S. or outside India, all Indian grocery stores carry these lentils.
By Step Photo Instructions
1) Wash the lentils under running cold water till water runs clear or rinse them 2-3 times till water is not cloudy anymore.
2) Take that into a pressure cooker and add 1 ½ cups of water. Cover with the lid, put the weight on and cook on medium heat for 5-6 whistles. Let the pressure go down by itself and open the lid.
3) Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
4) Then add ginger garlic and green chili, saute for 40-45 seconds or till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.
5) Add chopped onions and sprinkle a little salt.
6) Cook till onions are soft and light pink in color.
7) Now mix in chopped tomatoes.
8) Cook till tomatoes are soft and almost mushy.
9) Add remaining salt and spice powders .
10) Mix and saute for a minute.
11) Then add cooked masoor dal and another ½-1 cup of water depending on the consistency you prefer. Mix and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
12) Squeeze fresh lemon juice.
13) Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and turn off the stove.
14) Remove it to a serving bowl.
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How To Make Instant Pot Dal Makhani
Wash ½ cup whole black lentils, ¼ cup red kidney beans, and 1 tablespoon Bengal gram and soak them in 5-6 cups of water for 8-10 hours or overnight.
Press the SAUTE button of Instant Pot. When it says HOT, add 4 tablespoon of ghee to the pot.
When the ghee is hot, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
Now add 1 cup of grated onions and 2 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and fry until onions turn lightly browned . Keep stirring frequently.
Add 4 tablespoon of tomato paste and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
Now drain the lentils and kidney beans and wash them once again. Add them to the pot along with 2 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder, ½ teaspoon of cumin powder, and salt to taste.
Add 2 and ½ cups of water to the pot.
Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 30 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE. The instant pot will take some time to build the pressure and the timer to start.
Once the timer goes off, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the vent to the venting position. Use a kitchen cloth to move the vent to prevent steam burn of the fingers.
Open the lid of the pot and mash the lentils very well using the back of a ladle or a potato masher until they are creamy.
Press CANCEL and then press SAUTE. Cook the dal for 8-10 minutes and keep mashing it as you go. Add some water if the dal is thick for your liking.
Are Red Lentils Good For You
- Lentils are little powerhouses of nutrition! One cup of cooked red lentils contains 230 calories. And believe me, one cup will leave you feeling very satisfied.
- Each cup of cooked lentils contains about 18 grams of protein, making them a fantastic option for vegetarian and vegan diets.
- They are rich in fiber, folate, iron and manganese.
Adding Flavor To Lentils
But if you want to make your lentils more flavorful, youll need to add some more flavorings . Lentils are sponges, so they absorb the flavors of the ingredients in which theyre cooked.
I like to begin my lentils by sautéing some aromatics in oil, such as onion and garlic. And because I like things spicy, I often sauté some chili peppers too. If Im cooking Indian food, Ill also add in cumin seeds and ginger before adding the lentils. Or, if Im making Mexican-flavored lentils, I might sauté an onion, green pepper, and jalapeño pepper.
After you cook your aromatics, its time for more seasonings. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or you can add an array of your favorite spices, such as cumin, paprika, or turmeric. The exact spices will depend on the flavor profile/specific cuisine you are cooking. I also love adding fresh herbs to the cooking liquid for more depth of flavor. Sturdy herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, and bay leaves work excellently.
Finally, I like to cook the lentils in vegetable broth instead of water since it gives the lentils a little more richness and flavor.
Below you will find four incredibly easy recipes for Instant Pot lentils. And in case you are a fan of other legumes , here are more Instant Pot recipes featuring lentils and other legumes!
- Spiced Lentil, Kale and Sausage Soup
- Red Lentil Almond Curry
- Red Curry Rice Noodle Soup
- Lentil-Walnut Gyros with Vegan Tzatziki
- Lentil Shepherds Pie
- Khichdi / Kitchari
Dal Makhani With Brown Rice Using Pip
I absolutely love this concept of pot-in-pot cooking. Getting entire meal done in just one pot. How cool it is?? However, it is important to understand how pot-in-pot method works.
So basically, pot-in-pot cooking means, that multiple things can be cooked at the same time in the main pot using multiple, smaller pots or inserts that easily fit into the main pot.
For pot-in-pot cooking, I use the following stack-able egg trivet . Its dual purpose you can use this for pot-in-pot cooking as well as for cooking eggs in Instant Pot. I also use stainless steel inserts or pots that easily fit into 5 quarts or larger Instant Pot.
Food that have similar cooking time can be cooked using this method. For example, dal makhani, it takes 30 minutes for dal to cook on Bean/Chili mode. Brown rice takes about 22-25 minutes of cooking. So, dal makhani and brown rice can be cooked together using pot-in-pot method.
Similarly, you can also cook Rajma Masala and brown rice using pot-in-pot method. Heres the recipe for Rajma Masala if you would like to check it out.
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Faq About Dal Makhani
What is Dal Makhani?
Dal means lentil where Makhani means buttery. It is a very similar flavor profile to Instant Pot Butter Chicken, also known as Chicken Makhani.
Are lentils healthy?
Lentils are widely known as one of the healthiest foods and it stands number 2 for being richest in protein. Theyre also naturally gluten-free!
Best Dal Makhani Recipe
As far as I am concerned the Best Dal Makhani recipe is the one that YOU absolutely love. Regarding the authenticity, I consider this instant pot dal as equal to original in terms of the same ingredients as well the same proportions. Rest all are inspired or our versions.
In my opinion, inspired or your version is even better because that is exactly adapted to your own taste buds.
This Punjabi dal makhani recipe is inspired from the original restaurant makhani dal recipe And it does not use any onion. The flavour and richness come from cooking technique and butter.
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Dal Makhani Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
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Dal Makhani or Dal Makhni is a popular lentil recipe from Indian cuisine. Creamy, flavorful and aromatic Dal Makhani is made with black gram lentils and kidney beans, one of the classic dal recipes!!
Dal Makhani is also known as Madras Lentils. Makhani or makhni means creamy in Hindi. This dal makani happens to be one of the most popular dal served in the Indian restaurants around the globe. This restaurant style creamy, flavorful, aromatic Dal Makhani is very easy to make at home.
Pressure Cook Your Delicious Dal Makhani
When the timer goes off, Hahn told us to let the Instant Pot release naturally for 20 minutes. Afterward, switch the nozzle on the lid to “venting.” Stand back at a safe distance because the remaining steam pressure will release out of the top lid and may do so with force.
Now that the dal makhani is ready, splash in the juice of half a lemon. Hahn adds, “This dish is absolutely delicious. It is savory and has a real depth of flavor with all of the spices. I love adding lemon to lentil dishes, as it helps bring everything to its peak flavor as well.”
In case you want to double-check for proper texture, Hahn told Mashed, “The lentils are cooked when they are soft but not mushy.” Lastly, finely chop a quarter cup of cilantro to garnish each serving dish.
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Get Your Ingredients Together
Here’s a quick list of everything pictured above. To make this savory Punjabi dish, start with black lentils, kidney beans, cooking oil, cumin seeds, garlic granules or garlic powder, ginger powder, and one onion chopped.
We’ll get a little saucy with diced tomatoes, water, chili powder, coriander, salt, and garam masala for taste. You’ll also need the juice of a lemon, three cups of cooked rice, and chopped cilantro for the final touch.
Tips And Tricks For Easy Dal Makhani
Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best Madras Lentils.
- Soaking lentils ahead of time helps aid digestion and reduces cooking times
- Use white onions for the best flavor, but yellow works too if needed
- Dont add cream or butter if you want to keep the recipe vegan
- Use fresh ingredients like ginger, garlic, and tomatoes
- You can make your own tomato puree instead of using tomato paste for even better flavor
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How To Serve Dal Makhani
Dal Makhani is served with some Indian flatbread such as tandoori roti or naan. But this dal goes well with steamed Basmati white rice or brown rice as well.
I like to serve some dry subji along with this dal. My family loves Jeera Aloo with this dal. Some lemon wedge and onion salad on the side. Lastly, a glass of lassi or buttermilk.
Why Soak The Beans
To soak or not to soak the beans is the question that always comes my way. Let me clear the confusion here.
Soaking is always right, and I highly recommend it. The idea behind soaking dried beans is that the beans that have been soaked ahead of time will cook faster compared to the beans that have not been soaked at all.
Raw dried deans will require higher cooking times. Instant Pot Lobia masala
Besides that, you will need to simmer those beans on a medium-low flame and keep stirring every 30 minutes to ensure that the beans get cooked evenly and release their flavor in the liquid they are being prepared in.
Depending on how old the beans are, cooking time may vary.
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How Do You Store The Madras Lentils
Though foods always taste best freshly made, you can store this curry for later use or to send with your family for a quick, warm homemade lunch.
To store, allow the dal makhni to cool down to room temperature. Once it has cooled, spoon it into an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. You can store this for about 4 to 5 days if you did not add extra cream. If you have added cream, you can store it for about 1 to 2 days.
You can also freeze the dal. To do this, allow it to cool and place it in a freezer safe container. You can freeze the dal for up to 6 months. To reheat, allow it to defrost and microwave for a few minutes until warmed through or cook over low heat on the stove top in a pan.
If you want, you can reheat in the microwave still frozen, just add additional cook time to thaw and heat the dal.
A Word About Black Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas, commonly referred to as Cowpeas is a specific type of edible bean that is oval and has a black eye on the outer covering.
In other Indian states, it is known as Chawli in Marathi, Karamani in Tamil, and Lobia or Rongi in Punjabi.
This nutritional bean is famous for its creamy taste and flavor when cooked. Instant Pot Lobia masala
Instant Pot Lentil Curry
This Instant Pot dal or Lentil Curry, doesnt matter cause its damn good, is unbelievably creamy!
Dal is traditionally simmered for a longer period of time until the beans, lentils, or peas have split and become tender. With pressure cooker dal you get these same spectacular results in just 30 minutes!
The bold and flavourful seasoning blend of garam masala along with coriander, cayenne, and chili powder give this vegan and gluten and free comfort food an unforgettable taste experience. The cooling effect of the creamy coconut milk brings a lovely balance to the entire dish.
Storing Freezing And Reheating
Store: Dal will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Will make great leftovers for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
Freeze: Once fully cooked and cooled completely, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. If you have made a big batch, store in smaller batches and only thaw what you need.
Reheat: In a covered pot, simmer on low. Stir occasionally. You might need to add more water or broth to achieve your desired consistency.
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