Instant Pot Spinach Dal – comforting spinach dal made in the instant pot. Enjoy it with boiled rice! Vegan & gluten-free.
It finally feels like spring here. No it’s not been warm or super sunny but it’s been raining a little less and the sun has been shining a little more so I will take that as spring! At least it’s so much better than constant rain and grey skies. I have been working so much lately, actually the work load is the same it’s just that I am mentally exhausted these days (because of mom’s health) and you combine that with all the blog and house work? yep I am not even in a position to make dinner. So thank god for the instant pot, seriously it has made my life so easy and I am able to cook something for dinner even on days when I literally have no energy.
So the next recipe in the instant pot series is the Instant Pot Spinach Dal. I already have a spinach dal recipe on the blog and it’s actually quite a popular recipe so I thought I should share an instant pot version of it. And because you guys requested, I have also included a short video for this recipe. This spinach dal almost has a soup like consistency, that’s how we eat at our home. But if you don’t like it this cooked, simply reduce the cooking time by few minutes. I like this consistency best with plain rice, it’s so good!
This instant pot spinach dal is a simple recipe which comes together rather quickly. I have not used many ingredients or spices here and kept it simple. I really like simple dals without too much seasoning. Usually I always do a tadka (Indian word for adding tempering to food at the end) for most of my dal recipes before serving but since I was making this in the instant pot, I thought of skipping the tadka and actually make the entire thing in the instant pot. You may still do the tadka in the end, it will obviously make it more delicious but it’s completely optional.
For this spinach dal recipe, I used 2 kinds of lentils
– toor/arhar dal, also known as yellow pigeon peas lentils. These lentils are smaller in size than chana dal and are one of the most commonly used lentils in India. It’s made in my house 365 days a year, I kid you not!
– masoor dal, also know as red lentils.
You may also use a mix of toor and chana or use toor dal only. I personally feel using a mix of lentils results in a better taste. The dal is garnished with cilantro, garam masala and little lemon juice. Yes don’t forget the lemon juice, it really pops up the flavor. Here’s a quick video to show it’s all done in the instant pot. Hope you guys like it.
Wash and rinse the dals. Set aside. Press saute mode on Instant Pot. Add oil and once it’s hot add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them crackle.
Add chopped garlic, green chili and saute till the garlic starts turning golden brown in color.
Add chopped tomato and mix. Cook for a minute.
Then add chopped spinach and mix.
Add salt, turmeric powder and cook the spinach-tomato mixture for 1-2 minutes.
Add water, mix and close the lid of the Instant Pot.
Cancel saute mode. Select manual and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes are up, wait few minutes (6-7 minutes) and then release the pressure.
Adjust salt and add garam masala, cilantro and lemon juice. Also adjust consistency of the dal at this point.
Serve spinach dal hot with boiled rice!
* Adjust spice levels to taste. You may add more green chilies or red chili powder (cayenne) to spice it up.
- ¼ cup toor dal, also known split pigeon peas lentil
- ¼ cup masoor dal, also known as red lentil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 green chili, chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 5 oz spinach, chopped [ around 1.5 cups finely chopped spinach]
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1.5 - 2 cups water, use 1.5 cups water if you prefer thick consistency dal
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- juice of ½ lemon
- salt, to taste
- cilantro, to garnish
- Wash and rinse the dals. Set aside. Press saute mode on Instant Pot. Add oil and once it's hot add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them crackle.
- Add chopped garlic, green chili and saute till the garlic starts turning golden brown in color.
- Add chopped tomato and mix. Cook for a minute.
- Then add chopped spinach and mix.
- Add salt, turmeric powder and cook the spinach-tomato mixture for 1-2 minutes.
- Now add the rinsed dal and give a stir.
- Add water, mix and close the lid of the Instant Pot.
- Cancel saute mode. Select manual and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes are up, wait few minutes (6-7 minutes) and then release the pressure.
- Adjust salt and add garam masala, cilantro and lemon juice. Also adjust consistency of the dal at this point.
- Serve spinach dal hot with boiled rice!
Instant Pot Spinach Dal