Instant Pot Dal Makhani – Indian Creamy Lentils Recipe

Dal Makhani is Indian comfort food loved by all. It’s a flavorful mixture of lentils and herbs simmered together that results into ultra delicious curry. This Instant Pot Dal Makhani recipe shows how easy and convenient it is to make this classic Indian Curry in electric pressure cooker.

Dal Makhani can be spelled as Daal Makhani or Dahl Makhani. You will find this curry sold as Madras Lentils in ready to serve boxes in the grocery stores. It often is served in Indian Buffet Restaurants also.

This Instant Pot Dal Makhani Recipe is

  • Vegan, Gluten free, soy free and dairy free
  • Full of plant Protein, fiber and nutrients
  • Easy to make at home
  • Budget friendly and cost effective
  • Taste like restaurant’s 

This earthy rustic Restaurant Style Dal Makhani is very easy to make at home. You will notice substantial cost savings compare to ordering it from restaurants or buying it in ready made pouches. Most ingredients are easy to find in Indian grocery stores or on Amazon.

Dal Makhani garnished with cilantro leaves served in copper bowl. A bowl of lemon rice and a bowl of cut red onion and lemons in the background.

This delicious North Indian Curry is popular in Punjab, Delhi and surrounding areas. It is also served by roadside street food vendors called “Dhaba”.

Dal Makhani is made with combination of whole black urad dal (Black Gram Matpe Beans) and red kidney beans. A tangy tomato based Makhani Sauce make this recipe very delectable. Simple home-made food at it’s best !

In literally translation, Daal Makhani means lentils /beans with cream sauce. However, in this recipe , I am not using any cream. When cooked well, the urad dal will give more than enough rich creamy texture. No need to add unnecessary extra cream and the high calories that go with it.

Dal Makhani Recipe

Less complicated, low calorie but filling and hearty are the buzzwords that I like to hear when meal planning.

Healthy food has to be comforting and sustainable. Simple, traditional recipes offer you that option. You will love this easy to make Daal Makhani and it’s rich delicious taste.

Using Instant Pot, you will cook this curry in a breeze. Trust me, restaurant style entrée without much of hard work and with better quality ingredients. What’s not to love about it?

Dal Makhani Recipe made in InstantPot

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF DAL MAKHANI?

The Lentil / Daal Mix :
1 cup whole black urad dal ( Black Gram Matpe Beans) Soaked in water overnight.
1/2 cup red kidney beans , soaked in water overnight.
In case you forget to soak the beans and lentils, don’t worry. Instant Pot will still cook it tender and mushy . Just add more time and water while cooking.
1 cup water

The Makhani Sauce Mix :

1 tablespoon cooking oil ( traditionally butter or ghee is used. If you are not vegan you can use it)
1 can tomato puree or 3 medium tomatoes crushed
1 cup water
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp. Cumin-Coriander powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp cardamom seeds crushed
1 tsp each- grated ginger and garlic
½ teaspoon heaped chili powder
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust per taste
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves ( called Kasuri Methi ) This dry herb brings out the unique flavor to many Indian curries.

 Red bowl full of home made makhani sauce

HOW TO MAKE DAL MAKHANI

Soak the black urad dal and red kidney beans in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside. Soaked beans and lentils more than double in size. They absorb the flavors better and cooking time is reduced. ( As mentioned earlier, if you are cooking un-soaked beans, please increase the water in cooking by another cup )

Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot. Let it heat up for a minute. Add the oil and the cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle and brown, add all the ingredients listed under Makhani sauce. Stir well and let it cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.

Cancel SAUTE. Your quick Makhani sauce is ready.

Add the soaked lentils and beans to the pot in the Makhani sauce , add 1 cup of water and mix well. Close the lid, place the valve on sealing and press the BEAN setting.

Takes about 30 minutes at high pressure once InstantPot comes to pressure. Once it’s done cooking, let it NPR ( natural pressure release). Once the silver pin drops, open the lid. Mix everything well.

Mash the lentils and beans with a spoon to get the thicker, creamier consistency.

Stir well . Crush some dried fenugreek leaves on your palm and add them to curry. Mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and extra dried fenugreek leaves if desired. Serve warm and enjoy !

6 step process shot collage showing steps involved in making Instant Pot Dal Makhani

SERVING SUGGESTIONS :

Daal Makhani pairs well with white Basmati rice. You can eat it with garlic naan, paratha, roti , bread, quinoa or couscous.

Typically it is served along the side of cut raw onions and lemon wedges to get the perfect rustic feel. You can just eat bowlful like a chili with variety of toppings also.

This recipe can be doubled. It freezes well. You can use it for meal prep. You might have to add little water while reheating.

Dal Makhani Recipe-InstantPot

Adding few Amazon Affiliate links to get the pictured Ethnic Indian Copper Serving Bowls From Amazon. These serving bowls can be used to serve biryani, curry and daal. You can use these unique bowl for all types of cuisine. They are easy to maintain and clean since heavy-duty stainless steel is used on the interior.

Hope you like making this delicious, comforting Instant Pot Dal Makhani recipe. Our blog features several such delicious and healthy , easy to prepare dinner ideas. Be sure to check these amazing recipes.

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★ If you make this INSTANT POT DAL MAKHANI RECIPE  do let us know how you like it by star rating it and leaving a comment below.

Dal Makhani garnished with cilantro leaves served in copper bowl. A bowl of lemon rice and a bowl of cut red onion and lemons in the background.

Instant Pot Dal Makhani

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Dal Makhani is Indian comfort curry loved by all. It’s a flavorful mixture of lentils and herbs simmered together. This Gluten-free and Vegan Daal Makhani can be made in Instant Pot.

Ingredients

The Lentil / Daal Mix :

To make Makhani sauce :

Instructions

  1. Soak the black urad daal and red kidney beans in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside. Soaked beans and lentils more than double in size. They easier absorb the flavors and cooking time is reduced.
  2. Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot, once heated, add the oil or butter and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and once they start to brown, add all the ingredients listed under Makhani sauce. Stir well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring. Cancel Sauté. Your quick Makhani sauce is ready.
  3. Add the lentils and beans to the pot with Makhani sauce , add 1 cup of water and mix well. Close the lid, place the valve on sealing and press the Bean setting. Takes about 30 minutes at high pressure once InstantPot comes to pressure. Once it’s done cooking and beeps, let it NPR ( natural pressure release)
  4. When the silver pin drop, open the lid. Mash the beans slightly with a spoon to get the thicker consistency.
  5. Stir well. Crush some dried fenugreek leaves in your pinch and mix well. garnish with cilantro and dried fenugreek leaves if desired.
  6. Serve with rice of your choice, any choice roti , quinoa or couscous. You can just eat bowlful like a chili with variety of toppings also.

Notes

The cooking time does not include The overnight soaking time for the lentils and beans, the time to build the pressure and time to naturally release the pressure after cooking.

For un-soaked dry beans and lentils : Add 1.5 extra cup of water and choose 50 mins high pressure cooking time.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 466mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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15 thoughts on “Instant Pot Dal Makhani – Indian Creamy Lentils Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    This Indian dish looks delectable and super tasty. As you suggest, Daal would be a great thing to serve with this and I look forward to trying it.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! Hearty and filling. My meat-loving boyfriend and Mum both devoured it as quickly as I did. It’s gojng to be a regular in this house now. I had only put it on in the instant pot as a trial because I don’t always have luck with new recipes, and my actual dinner plan was a disaster so this totally saved the day.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars


    This sounds very good – I love the generous spices in this combination! It reminds me a bit of a ‘dal’ we used to get at a restaurant in Houston (Haveli). However, their version used split black dal, kidney beans and the ‘orange’ dal — with both dals being about equal, and the kidney beans about half of those two (in the finished dish). It also tasted quite a bit like Texas style chili – with a lot of cumin flavor, and I don’t recall the cinnamon and cardamom flavors being very distinct. In addition, I suspect it had much less tomato – maybe a single small can of tomato sauce, but I have no idea. Based on this, can you suggest a recipe adaption that might come close to the dal we used to love!?! Thanks! Meanwhile, I’ll try this recipe — it sounds really delicious!

    Reply
    • Linda, orange dal ( Indian term Masoor dal) will help make it even more smooth. This recipe is vegan. Most resturants use butter and heavy cream or cashew paste to thicken so if you use either that, you can reduce tomato sauce. Also if you use Garam Masala, you can skip cardamom and cinnamon. 1 teaspoon or more garam masala will bring out very prominent flavors. Hope this helps. Do let us know how it turns out when you make it.

      Reply
  4. Hi. I bought canned kidney beans instead of dry. Can I use those? And if so, how would you suggest I adjust the water and cook time? Should I just use the ‘pressure cook’ button instead of the ‘bean’ button, since I don’t have to cook the beans from scratch? I am using dried black lentils, but only have a short time to soak them. Thank you!!

    Reply
  5. This recipes looks great and I would like to try it but I didn’t have time to soak the dal or Rajma. Above, I saw it said to add one extra cup of water if that’s the case and cook longer. How much longer should I cook it for. Also, it’s my first time I’ll be using my insta pot. So just a little nervous.

    Reply

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