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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 Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Dal/Lentils Soaking Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Indian Dals and Curries, Instant Pot recipes, Masoor Dal recipe, Red Lentils, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Swati


  • 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.