Dhuli Masoor Dal(Red Lentils)

Dhuli Masoor Dal also know as Malka Masoor Dal.. Red lentils cooked and tempered in onion garlic and red chilli powder with asafoetida..

Healthy nutritious and comforting bowl of Dhuli Masoor Dal (cooked lentils) that goes well with steamed rice or hot chapatis.

It is almost same as the Red lentil soup(Moroccan Red Lentil Soup) with little variations and the consistency, depending on how you like your Dal. Many like thick consistency like soup, especially with Chapatis and many like it thin. We like our Dal to medium consistency, neither too watery nor too thick. It is a regular part of our everyday day meal.

Health Benefits of Masoor Dal/Red Lentils…

For vegetarians, lentils are one of the main source of proteins, calcium, rich in iron and other minerals. Lentils help to lower the bad cholesterol, and maintain the blood sugar levels. Red Lentils are very good for people with high sugar levels and for those who are trying to lose weight. These also have immune boosting properties. Overall rich in nutrients.

Red lentils when cooked with onion and garlic have cold and cough curing properties. Whenever any one in family suffers from any form of cold and cough, I always make this dal for them. It helps in relieving cold and cough and also soothes the body pains.

Other vegan and healthy Lentils/Dal recipes from the blog.. Lehsuni Dal Palak, Maa Chane Di Dal, Lauki Chana Dal

Ingredients and Preparation

The main ingredients is of course.. Masoor Dal/Red Lentils. Other main ingredients are asafoetida, onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and cumin seeds. Many people add tomatoes also but I skip it. We like the rustic taste of garlic and asafoetida in this dal which sets apart the taste of this dal from the other dals I cook.

These lentils take very less time to cook and doesn’t require long hours of soaking time.Even 5 min before cooking is enough. In pressure cooker on stove-top these take 1-2 whistles and in Instant Pot only 5-8 minutes when soaked 10-15 minutes prior to cooking (not including the time that Instant Pot takes to come to pressure).

I temper dals in Desi Ghee, if you want you can use any flavorless oil like Olive oil. Though studies have shown that having Desi ghee in moderation is actually beneficial to overall health. I have also recently read somewhere that Desi Ghee can be consumed by Vegans as the percentage of milk solids is very less or negligible in Desi Ghee due to the method of preparation. Vegans can check their resources for the use of Desi Ghee.

Making Dal in Instant Pot

I used to make this dal in pressure cooker on stove-top, the traditional way of making Dal. Since now I have my Instant Pot I prepare dal in this only. The benefits of Instant Pot are..

  • first no spilling of the dal water on the stove-top a common problem with the pressure cookers,
  • second don’t have to wait for the whistles, set the timer and do your other work.
  • third, I can cook two things together in with Pot in Pot(PIP) method, using stackable container for Instant pot.Will cover the PIP method of how I make Dal and Rice  or Dal and subzi for the meal together.

The common steps for both the method(Stove-top and Instant Pot) are..

  1. Soak Dal for 5-10 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Peel and finely chop onions, garlic ginger and green chillies for tempering.
  3. Keep the dal for cooking in pressure cooker, when dal starts to boil, remove the scum that gathers at the top, add turmeric powder, salt, cover the lid and cook as per the cooker you are using(stove-top/electric).
  4. Meanwhile prepare tempering.
  5. Once Dal is cooked add add tempering , cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve hot.

Please Note.. You can prepare the onion -garlic masala/tempering of Dal in inner pot of Instant Pot and then add soaked dal to cook. But I like to take out the froth that gathers on top while dal boils, and then add tempering and close the lid. Prepare tempering in inner pot as per the method given below…

Prepare tempering

In a pan, heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds when seeds crackle, add finely chopped garlic, saute till the raw smell goes away.

Add onions and saute till light pink.

Add garam masala and red chilli powder and cook for a minute.

When cooking Dal in Instant Pot, add masala or tempering after you clear the froth. Add masala, close lid and set Instant Pot on pressure cooker mode.

Let’s see in detail how I cook Dhuli Masoor or Red Lentils(Indian Style)..

Dhuli Masoor Dal/Red Lentils(Indian Style)

Red Lentils cooked and tempered in onions, ginger and garlic. Instant Pot and Stove-top method. Recipe How to make Malka Masoor or Dhuli Masoor Dal
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Dal/Lentils Soaking Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 4


  • Instant Pot
  • Frying Pan
  • Knife
  • Chopping Board
  • Ladle


  • 1 Cup Dhuli Masoor/Malka Masoor/Red Lentils
  • 1 Onion(medium size)
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves
  • 1" Ginger Piece
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder or as required
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida omit for Gluten-free version
  • 1 tbsp Desi Ghee or Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Green Chillies optional
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi(Dried Fenugreek Leaves)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash nicely and soak Dal for 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile prepare tempering.
  •  Peel and finely chop onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies(optional) for tempering.

Prepare Onion and Garlic Masala for Dal /Tempering

  • In a pan, heat ghee/oil, add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add ginger and garlic and chillies and saute till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
  • Add onions and saute till light pink. 
  • Add garam masala, red chilli powder. and crushed kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves. Cook for 1-2 mins, keep the flame to low.

Cook Dal in Instant Pot

  • Add soaked dal to inner pot of Instant Pot.
  • Add water as required. Set on the SAUTE MODE at 10 mins (High).
  • Let the dal boil, remove the forth that gathers at the top.
  • Add Turmeric Powder, pinch of asafeotida and salt.
  • Set the PRESSURE COOK Mode ON for 8-10 mins (depends on the soaking time).
  • Cancel the SAUTE MODE. Cover with lid and seal it.
  • After the timer goes OFF, do the Quick Pressure Release(QPR) after 5 mins and open lid.
  • Add the onion-garlic masala and serve hot or keep it in Instant Pot on till you serve.
  • Or, you can make garlic onion masala in inner pot incase you don't want to make it in separate pan . For that switch on the Instant pot on SAUTE MODE igh for 5 mins. Add ghee and make tempering as per the above process.
    Cancel the Saute Mode, take out the masala and then add soaked dal and water. Cook on SAUTE MODE again for 5 min. and remove the froth that collects on top.

Tadka for Dal

  • Before serving you can add Red Chilli tadka. To make Tadka, in a pan, heat a tsp of ghee/oil, add cumin seeds, once seeds crackle add red chilli powder and cook for a few seconds, and immediately add to the dal. Cover dal for few seconds to infuse the flavour of tadka. 

Cook Dal in Stove-top Pressure Cooker

  • Keep the dal for cooking in pressure cooker, when dal starts to boil, remove the scum that gathers at the top, add turmeric powder, salt, cover the lid. Cook dal till 2 whistles.
  • Once the pressure in the cooker goes off, add the onion garlic masala to dal and mix.
  • Serve hot with rotis or rice with some onions drizzled with lemon and salt. 


  • You can tomatoes to dal while making the tempering. Add finely chopped tomatoes after the onions turn light pink. Cook till tomatoes are soft and mushy and then add garam masala.
  • Adjust the consistency of dal as per your liking. But don't make it too watery. If you like it thick add less water. 
  • Kasuri methi enhances the taste of dal, if you don't have it , you skip it, can add  finely chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Cooking Time of Dal depends on the time it is soaked. It will take around 10 min, if you are cooking Dal directly without soaking. 
Keyword Indian Dals and Curries, Instant Pot recipes, Masoor Dal recipe, Red Lentils, Vegetarian

So do make this flavourful Dal, and relish with hot chapatis or steamed or jeera rice.

To cook Rice with Dal with Pot In Pot Method(PIP method) please refer my detailed post Easy Steamed Rice in Instant Pot.

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Author: Swati

Some who believes 'EAT WELL, READ DAILY, TRAVEL OFTEN AND LAUGH KHUL KE'!!! Hi!! Swati here!!! Chef, Chocolatier, food admirer, reader, love to travel, listen to music, Bollywood and shoot nature and food pics!! Welcome to my Foodtrails and join me in my food adventure!!

8 thoughts

  1. I have cooked it a couple of times though Sindhis don’t ever cook this dal.. don’t know why..

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