Quick and Easy Red Lentils made in Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker(Stove-top). This lentil curry is so delicious, super easy to make and also budget friendly and can be made under 30 mins.
Pair it with rice, quinoa or chapatis for filling and nutritious meal. It can be made Gluten-free, Vegan Friendly and Keto friendly.
- About the Recipe
- What are Red Lentils or Dhuli Masoor Dal
- Health Benefits of Masoor Dal/Red Lentils
- Why we love to make Red Lentils curry
- Ingredients to make Red Lentils
- How to cook Red Lentils/Dhuli Masoor Dal
- Making Dal in Instant Pot
- Serving Suggestions
- How long can I store cooked Red Lentils
- Related Recipes with Red Lentils from the blog
- Some more Indian Dal/Lentils Recipes from the blog
- Soups with Lentils
- Snack and other recipes with Lentils
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Recipe Card for Instant Pot Red Lentils
About the Recipe
A comforting bowl of Dhuli Masoor Dal (cooked lentils) cooked in Instant Pot or Indian style Pressure Cooker goes so well with steamed rice or hot chapatis. And, sometimes your can just have it like a soup with your favourite bread!!
Red lentils are cooked and tempered in onion garlic and red chilli powder. If you want something quick, easy to make without any fancy ingredients and nutritious, this is the right recipe for healthy plant based meals.
What are Red Lentils or Dhuli Masoor Dal
Dhuli Masoor Dal also know as Malka Masoor Dal or the popular Red Lentils. This is one of the quickest dal to cook just like the yellow moong lentils. You can make curries, soups, add to dough to flour and make paratha or crackers and also for baby food and purees.
Don't be misguided by the name. The raw lentils are orange in color, turn yellow when cooked.
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 dal just 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.
Why we love to make Red Lentils curry
- Quick and easy to cook all under 30 mins.
- Simple ingredients are required for tempering.
- Healthy and so nutritious
- Makes a hearty meal with steamed rice /quiona/chapatis or even your favourite bread
- Raw lentils are budget friendly and when stored properly lasts of a couple of months.
Ingredients to make Red Lentils
The main ingredients is of course.. Masoor Dal/Red Lentils.
Other main ingredients are asafetida, 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 that I cook.
Skip Asafetida to make it Gluten-free or use a gluten-free asafetida.
I temper this dal in ghee. But, if you want you can use any flavorless oil like Olive oil/Peanut Oil or Rice Bran to make Vegan Red Lentils curry.
Studies have shown that having Desi ghee in moderation is actually beneficial to overall health. I also recently read somewhere that Desi Ghee can be consumed by Vegans as the percentage of milk solids is very less or negligible in it because of the method of preparation. Vegans can check their resources for the use of Desi Ghee.
How to cook Red Lentils/Dhuli Masoor Dal
These lentils take very less time to cook and doesn't require long hours of soaking time. Even 5 min before cooking is enough. You can cook in Stove top Indian pressure cooker(traditional Indian way) or in Instant Pot (or any Electric Pressure Cooker)
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).
The common steps for both the methods(Stove-top and Instant Pot) are:
- Soak Dal for 5-10 minutes prior to cooking.
- Peel and finely chop onions, garlic ginger and green chillies for tempering.
- 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).
- Meanwhile prepare tempering.
- Once Dal is cooked add add tempering , cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve hot.
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 cooking in 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.
- thirdly, 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.
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.
- 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 you cook 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.
- Or, you can also, first cook dal and then add tempering as we do in traditional way in Indian pressure cooker.
Red Lentils when served with Steamed Rice/ Qunioa makes a hearty and filling meal. You can servered Lentils for everyday meal or in lunch box with rice, chapatis and dry subzi and salad. This is a typical way in which Indians have there meals everyday.
How long can I store cooked Red Lentils
Cooked Red Lentils stay good for about 2-3 days in refrigerator. Reheat on stovetop in apan or in micriwave. You may need to add some water as dal gets thick when kept.
You can also freeze dal for about a month.
Related Recipes with Red Lentils from the blog
Some more Indian Dal/Lentils Recipes from the blog
Whole Masoor Dal(Brown Lentils), Dal Tadka(Toor Dal), Lauki Chana Dal, Lehsuni Dal Palak, Maa Chane Di Dal, Langarwali Dal, Dal Makhani(Stove-top Indian Pressure Cooker), Rajasthani Panchmel Dal, Dhaba Style Kali Dal, Udipi Style Sambhar, Sookhi Urad Dal, Pumpkin Dal, Moradabadi Dal Chaat,
Soups with Lentils
Snack and other recipes with Lentils
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes you can freeze red lentils. Prepare dal and you can divide it in small portions in small freezer freiednly boxes and freeze. Stays good to use for about a month.
Thaw Dal in refrigerator few hrs before serving. Reheat in microwave or on stove top in pan.
You can add onion garlic masala befroe freezing or, only boil dal, cool completely, freeze it and add tempering just before serving.
Red rentils are protein rich and also rich in other immune boating nutrients. You can have it for your everyday meals with rice/quiona/chapati or naan.
In open pot Red lentils will take more time to cook. Soak lentils 15 mins. before cooking. Boil waterin a big pan, add soaked lentils. Discard the water in which lentils were soaked.
Remove the froth that comes on top then add salt , turmeric powder, whole spices.
Cover and cook dal on low flame. It may take around 20-30 mins. depending on the quality of lentils and hardness of water.
Add tempering once the dal is cooked.
Recipe Card for Instant Pot Red Lentils
Dhuli Masoor Dal/Red Lentils(Indian Style)
- Instant Pot
- Frying Pan
- Chopping Board
- 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.
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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