Brown Masoor Dal Curry

Brown Masoor Dal Curry

Whole Brown Masoor Dal Curry (Brown Lentils) cooked in the Instant Pot. This simple and flavorful dal is vegan and gluten-free and pairs well with rice or Kerala parotta for a comfortable meal.

PREP TIME – 5 mins

COOK TIME – 35 mins

TOTAL TIME – 40 mins

COURSE – Main Course

CUISINE – Indian


CALORIES – 229 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon oil 15 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cup whole masoor dal brown lentils
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • lemon wedges to serve


  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it’s hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  • Then add the chopped ginger, onion, green chilli and mix. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until onions are light golden brown in colour. Stir often.
  • Add in the tomatoes and deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a spatula. There shouldn’t be anything stuck at the bottom.
  • Add the spices- coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala. Also, add the salt and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the rinsed whole masoor dal to the pot and toss with the masala.
  • Then add in the water and stir. Close the pot with the lid. 
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 13 to 14 minutes, with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Open the pot and add chopped cilantro and mix. At this point, you can also add a teaspoon of ghee for extra flavour. You can also add crushed Kasuri methi or squeeze in some lemon juice.
  • Serve whole masoor dal with rice or roti or paratha. 

Stove-Top Pressure Cooker Instructions

  • Follow all of the instructions in order, then pressure cook for 5-6 minutes on high heat. Allow the pressure to naturally release. Alternatively, you may preheat a separate pan with salt and turmeric and water before adding it to the dal as a tempering/tadka

Stove-Top Pan Instructions

  • If you don’t have a pressure cooker, follow all of the instructions until adding the lentils. Add the lentils, water, and then simmer for approximately 30-35 minutes on medium heat until the lentils are soft and cooked through. You may need to add more water here since water will evaporate while cooking in an open pot as opposed


To make the dal tastier, add a teaspoon of ghee before serving. To make it richer and creamier, add crushed Kasuri methi and a little cream.

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