Go Back
+ servings
Top shot of a steel bowl with masoor dal or pink lentil dal
Print Recipe
5 from 20 votes

Instant Pot Masoor Dal

Creamy, coconutty, and ridiculously easy to make, this delicious Instant Pot Masoor Dal or Red Lentil Dhal is sure to become a hot family favorite. You can also make this with no added oil and serve with rice or roti for a nutritious, satisfying meal. Vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free recipe
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner/Dal
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 198kcal



  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or any vegetable oil. To make the dal oil-free, use ¼ cup of water to saute)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion (finely diced)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (optional, can be replaced with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro)
  • 4 medium tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 1-inch piece ginger (grated or crushed into a paste)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced or crushed into a paste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or if using dry red chili peppers use one or two based on how much heat you can tolerate)
  • 1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice for squeezing on top


  • Heat the oil in an Instant Pot set to the "saute" function set to "normal". Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to sputter, add the onions, curry leaves, ginger and garlic. (If making this oil-free, add the mustard seeds to the dry IP liner after it heats up, then, when they sputter, add the onions, ginger and garlic and then add in ¼ cup water)
  • Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions soften and just start to brown. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder and red pepper flakes and mix well. You can use an Instant Pot glass lid or any glass lid that fits to cover the pot at this time and let the tomatoes cook 3-4 minutes until they are broken down and very pulpy. Stir a couple of times during cooking.
  • Add the dal to the pot and stir to mix, then add in 4 cups water. Give everything a good stir then click in the Instant Pot lid. Set the IP at manual pressure for 10 minutes.
  • After cooking, wait either until pressure releases automatically, or, if you're in a rush, wait 10 minutes after the end of cooking, then carefully quick-release according to instructions.
  • Using a ladle, stir in the coconut milk and salt to taste. At this point you can garnish with more cilantro, if you like, or serve as is. Always top the dal with a final squeeze of lemon juice for the perfect finish!


  • To make this dal with my basic tomato onion masala sauce, add the mustard seeds to the oil, and after they sputter, add 2 cups of the masala sauce. Mix well, then proceed with step 3 of the recipe and continue. This will cut down almost all of your hands-on sauteing time.


Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 757IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg