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instant pot dal tadka

Instant Pot Daal Tadka

This Instant Pot Dal Tadka is ready in under 15 minutes, and tastes delicious with naan and rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani, Pakistani/Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 227kcal


For the Dal

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup moong daal (yellow split lentils) rinsed with water
  • 1/2 cup masoor daal (red split lentils) rinsed with water
  • 3 cups water

For the Tadka (Optional)

  • 3-4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3-4 dried whole button chillies (optional or substitute with slit green chillies)

For Finishing

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Chopped coriander for garnish.


For the Dal

  • Turn the saute mode on the Instant Pot, then add the oil.
  • Add onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes until slightly translucent.
  • Then add the tomatoes, and spices, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add both the daal and water. Mix well.
  • Cancel the saute mode, close the lid, and set valve to sealing.
  • Pressure cook for 5 minutes, and do natural pressure release for 2 mins. Move the valve to venting, to release the remaining pressure.
  • Open lid, and mix.

For the Tadka

  • On stove top, heat oil in a small frying pan.
  • Add the onions, and fry until golden brown.
  • Now add the garlic, and saute for 20 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add cumin seeds and saute for 15 seconds until aromatic.
  • Add the dried whole chillies and saute another 10 seconds.
  • Transfer the tadka to the daal.
  • Add butter and lemon juice, and mix gently.
  • Top with chopped coriander.
  • Serve with naan or rice.


  • If you want a thicker dal, reduce the amount of water by half a cup.
  • I don't like my dal to be very mushy, so the pressure cook is only 5 minutes. If you like it more cooked, then increase the time to 7 minutes.
  • To add a little more oomph to the dal, I always add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a little bit of butter. It makes the dal taste absolutely delicious.


Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 182IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 3mg