Instant Pot Dal (Lentil Curry)

Last week Tate asked you via Instagram stories what kind of recipes you wanted to see from us in the new year. We got quite a few responses asking for vegetarian dishes and plant based dishes, which led us to the creation of this recipe! When brainstorming plant-based entrees, we immediately reached for lentils, which are high in protein and low in carbs. We LOVE Indian food at Tuck & Tate and consider eating Indian anytime we are searching for comfort food. Dal is a lentil curry that has the consistency of something between a porridge and a stew depending on where you eat it. It can be served as a side dish or as a vegetarian entree. We like to serve it with rice and peas for a quick, vegetarian dinner on a work night.

We love that Indian dishes tend to have ingredients that help fight inflammation, boost immunity, and detox the body. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, and coriander do a double combo of fighting off illnesses floating around in the air and maintain our health from the inside out. Making this recipe using the pressure cooker setting of the instant pot cuts out a bunch of time in the kitchen, but if you don’t have one you can easily make this on the stove top. Instructions for stove top cooking are at the bottom of the recipe.

Instant Pot Dal (Lentil Curry)

Makes: 4 servings as an entree, 6-8 as a side dish

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 2 tbs vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 vine tomatoes, large dice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, minced
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat your Instant Pot on the medium “saute” setting.
  2. Add the vegetable oil, yellow onion, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent. If at any time the pot becomes too hot and the ingredients start to burn on the bottom of the pan, reduce the heat setting to low on the Instant Pot.
  3. Add the tomatoes, jalapeno, lentils and spices (curry powder – coriander) to the pot. Saute another 3-4 minutes, or until the jalapeno and spices start to become fragrant.
  4. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock to the pot. Cover with the Instant Pot lid and set to the “high pressure cook” setting. Make sure the vent release is closed and set the timer to cook the lentils for 10 minutes. We allowed for 20 minutes in this cooking time because of the times it takes the Instant Pot to reach the pressure level to start cooking.
  5. After the 10 minutes, release the steam from the Instant Pot. Remove the lid and give everything a good stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with rice, naan, or any other desired Indian dishes.

** To make this recipe exclusively on the stove top, soak the lentils for 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Cook everything in a stove top pot, add the liquids, and cook covered for 25- 30 minutes or until the lentils have reached your desired texture.

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