instant pot masoor daal recipe
Eating Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Masoor Daal

instant pot masoor daal recipe

Masoor daal is one of my absolute favourite daals – it’s richer and more filling than the split version, is inexpensive and with my Instant Pot, it’s a dream to cook and ready in minutes.

Here’s a step by step guide that will hopefully eliminate the guesswork to give you a great result even if you’re new to Instant-Potting!

You will need: 

  • Oil (enough to thinly cover the base)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
  • 225 grams of crushed tomatoes or two medium sized tomatoes chopped
  • 1 green chilli (chopped or whole – we leave ours whole because of the kids)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder (this is optional, we used to add this before the kids ate with us, we don’t now)
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala powder
  • Salt, to your taste
  • 1 cup of whole masoor dal
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of cream (optional – we use Oatly cream for a lighter but creamy finish)
  • Coriander leaves, chopped finely


  1. Before you begin to chop your onion, switch on the Instant Pot to Sauté (on Normal not High) – this will bring the pot to temperature and it helps to get things going so you’re not wasting time.
  2. Add a thin layer of oil – enough to cover the bottom of the pan and when the oil is shimmering, sprinkle in your cumin seeds.
  3. When the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add in your chopped onion, garlic and ginger pastes and let them get nice and golden brown – this is key to getting a really flavourful daal.
  4. Once you are happy with the colour (I let it brown for a little longer than photographed below), add in your crushed tomatoes. My husband hates bits of tomatoes and the skin etc, so I always blitz tomatoes before using them. Pop in your green chilli now too.
  5. When some of the water has evaporated and you have a nice thick tomato paste, add in your powdered spices; chilli (if you’re using it), turmeric, garam masala and salt.
  6. Whilst that is incorporating, rinse your masoor daal in a colander (ensure you use warm or hot water, adding in cold food brings down the temperature of the pot and it takes longer to come to pressure).
  7. Add your drained masoor daal into the pot and stir until it is coated in the spicy sauce.
  8. Add 3 cups of water to this – ideally this should be three cups of boiling or very hot water – for the same reasons stated above.
  9. Seal the pot, select the manual function and start a 18 minute cycle on High. If you have soaked your masoor daal prior, you can probably cook this for a shorter period. I am usually in a hurry and prefer to just cook from the bag without having to soak.
  10. When the cycle is complete, push the steam valve to venting for a quick release of the pressure.
  11. Once you’ve opened the lid, put the pot back on Sauté and add your cream if you’re using it. Just stir it through for a minute or two and then switch off the pot or leave it on Keep Warm.
  12. Garnish with coriander before serving – this is lovely over basmati rice or with naan.


If you try this, I’d love to hear how you get on! You can always amend the recipe to suit your tastes; i.e. remove certain spices or add more of others. If you do try it, please tag me on Instagram @imanblogs so I can take a look!

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  • Reply
    December 2, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I love daal. This looks like such a simple way of making it. I must try!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I love the spices you used. The combination will make it really flavourful. And any food this simple is really worth trying out.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I am not a daal lover! I have tasted an exceptional daal in one restaurant that I don’t go to anymore. Will try this recipe when I buy masoor dal. Hubby has uric acid lroblems and daal is not a staple here anymore!

  • Reply
    Yousra Naeem
    December 5, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    I don’t like pulses but this one is my favorite & the pictures are so good that I am hungry already.
    Thanks for sharing❤

  • Reply
    December 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I love dal! I will try this in my instant pot. I’ve been looking up masoor dal and it seems to suggest I should be using split red lentils but you mention that the lentils should be whole in this recipe, does this mean I should use brown or green whole lentils rather than split? I don’t have easy access to an Indian supermarket unfortunately.

    • Reply
      December 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Karen, I use the whole brown lentils (not the split ones) for this recipe. The split ones take a lot less time to cook, but I’ll have a recipe for those up too shortly!

      • Reply
        January 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm

        Thanks Iman, I will try that ?

  • Reply
    March 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Assalamalaikum, Iman. I made this last night and your recipe is on point. My husband and son pretty much inhaled it. I only had to adjust the water after cooking. It came out a little thick but nothing one cup of water couldn’t fix. Thanks again for such a great recipe!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you so much. My husband and I loved this dish.

  • Reply
    Gosia Alabi
    January 22, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    This is great, I just got my instant pot and cannot wait to try it on this recipe. Will came back with the update. Thank you so much:))

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    This worked very well – I had made masoor dal a few times (in a large saucepan) but never in an instant pot. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Reply
      January 31, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you Peter! I’m glad it worked well for you!

  • Reply
    L Bottino
    March 22, 2018 at 6:39 am

    I love this recipe. It’s perfect for me. I had a few different recipes for dal that I had saved and made a different one last week in error. I knew something was just not right! This week I came back to this one and THIS IS IT FOR ME. So as not to confuse myself again. I deleted the others! I only have one suggestion and that would be a ‘print’ recipe button. Thank-you!

    • Reply
      March 27, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy it – I will work on that Print function!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    This was fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. If I double the recipe, I just double the time on the instant pot correct?

    • Reply
      February 12, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      Nope 🙂 there’s no need to double the time on the Instant Pot when doubling a recipe – this applies to any/ all recipes.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2018 at 3:19 am

    This was awesome..I used melted butter/ghee at end and oinch of heeng

    • Reply
      February 12, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you for your feedback! That sounds delicious!

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