Instant Pot Chana Dal

Vegan Chana Dal made in the instant pot! Serve it over boiled rice for a comforting meal.
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Easy and delicious Instant Pot Chana Dal is comforting and vegan and you can make this recipe in no time using your instant pot!

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group would share/feature vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

 

instant pot chana dal

So I am back with my Instant Pot series. I realize that I haven’t shared an IP recipes on the blog for quite some time now and that’s because I wasn’t in my kitchen and I had no access to IP in India. But now expect lots of Indian Instant Pot recipes in the coming weeks. Seriously though, if you are not an Indian and love Indian food, you might want to buy this cool gadget.

It will make things so much easier. And if you are an Indian, you must buy this because we can’t live without pressure cooker and IP is a major upgrade to the regular pressure cooker plus it’s so much more. [I haven’t been paid by anyone to say all this, I just love instant pot and so sharing my honest opinion with you guys.]

I made this simple instant pot chana dal the other day and it came together so quickly. Unlike the other yellow lentils like moong and toor/arhar, chana dal takes little more time to cook. Some people soak it for few hours before using in the recipe.

If you were to cook chana dal in a pan on stove top, I would highly recommend soaking for few hours or even overnight but when you are making this in the instant pot, you don’t have to do anything. Simply cook on high pressure and it will be nicely cooked. That is what is so amazing about pressure cooking, it drastically reduces the cooking time.

Dal in India is made in so many ways and there’s absolutely no wrong or right way of cooking it.

I come from a place in India where dal is cooked literally like a soup, it’s that thin but if I add that much water and share here, most of my non-Indian readers would think “wow that’s so soupy” because the dal that you get in Indian restaurants here in US, they are always on the thicker side.

These restaurants have clearly created a lot of misconceptions about Indian food. Actually Indian dal is mostly thin, in major parts of the country. I know in UP and Bihar, dal is really thin (because I belong to these states) and so is the dal in Gujarat. Of course what consistency of dal you like is a personal preference but I just wanted to make this clear.

People add several kind of tadka/tempering to the dal. It can be cumin, curry leaves, mustard seeds etc.

I added a simple tadka to this instant pot chana dal however I didn’t add it in the beginning, rather I let the dal cook in the IP and then made the tadka in the pan and added to the cooked dal. I really like the strong flavors when we put the tadka in the end.

Tip: If you want to make this entirely in the IP, you may do the tempering before and then add tomatoes and chana dal.

 

 

Method

Place all ingredients from 1-7 in the Instant Pot.

Close the lid, set valve to sealing. Press the manual button and then adjust timing to 12 minutes. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes and then let the pressure release naturallu (NPR) which means you wait till the floating valve goes down on its own, around 20 minutes.

Open the lid and give a stir. Press the “keep warm/cancel button and then press the “saute” button.

Meanwhile heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them crackle.

Add hing, chopped garlic and dried red chilies (break red chilies into 2 for extra spice).

Cook till garlic turns light golden brown. Remove pan from heat and add the prepared tempering to the IP.

Give a good stir. You may also mash some dal with back of your spoon at this point.

Add lemon juice and mix.

Finally add chopped cilantro and stir.

Serve chana dal over boiled rice. Enjoy.

 

Instant Pot Chana Dal

instant pot chana dal
Manali
Vegan Chana Dal made in the instant pot! Serve it over boiled rice for a comforting meal.
4.9 from 28 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3
Calories 209 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chana dal 158 grams, also known as split garbanzo beans
  • 1 tomato 140 grams, chopped
  • 1.5 - 2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder/cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Tempering

  • 2 teaspoons oil use any oil of choice
  • 2 garlic 3-4 grams, finely chopped
  • pinch hing also known as asafoetida (make sure it's gluten-free if following a GF diet)
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, adjust to taste

    1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish

      Instructions
       

      • Place the first 7 ingredients in the Instant Pot.
      • Close the lid, set valve to sealing. Press the manual button and then select high pressure and set time to 12 minutes.
      • Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally (NPR). [Note: you can soak the chana dal for an hour and then do high pressure for 7-8 minutes only].
      • Open the lid and give a stir. Press the "keep warm/cancel" button and then press the "saute" button.
      • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan on stove-top on medium heat.
      • Add cumin and mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add hing, chopped garlic and dried red chilies (break red chilies into 2 for extra spice).
      • Cook till garlic turns light golden brown. Remove pan from heat and add the prepared tempering to the IP.
      • Give a good stir. You may also mash some dal with back of your spoon at this point.
      • Add lemon juice and cilantro and serve chana dal with rice.

      Notes

      1. Use a combination of ghee (clarified butter) and oil in the tempering for extra flavor. Keep in mind though, ghee isn't vegan so if you wish to keep this recipe vegan, don't use ghee.
      2. Use gluten-free hing if you are following a GF diet.
      3. Break both the dried red chilies into small pieces to make the dal spicier. I broken only 1 and left the other as such.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 13gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 604mgPotassium: 583mgFiber: 16gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 502IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 4mg
      Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

      Instant Pot Chana Dal

      80 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chana Dal

      1. 5 stars
        This dahl recipe is seriously off the hook. I’ve never been that into eating dahl at home because every dahl I’ve ever made ends up kind of bland-ish or weird texture, but this is SO FREAKING GOOD!!! Omg. Sometimes I am shocked that I am the one that made it and not an Indian restaurant.

      2. Hey .. If am using a stove top pan, will I still add all the ingredients together cause usually we do onion then garlic then rest of them..

      3. Love love love the flavour in this recipe! For me the chana dal still had a bit to much bite to it, so I just added a bit more water and cooked for longer. Will definitely be making again!

      4. I followed the recipe exactly, using 1.5 cups of water. There was still a lot of extra water, but the dal was undercooked. Luckily, I made it in advance, so I could let it simmer for a long time and it was okay by dinner time. The seasoning was great, so I will try again. I will try pre-soaking the dal or extending the cooking time, or making it a day in advance and letting it sit in the refrigerator.

        1. Hi Katherine, if you read the comments section, someone has commented that their dal was overcooked in this time and while someone has said their dal was undercooked in this time. It depends on the quality of dal and how old the dal is. My chana dal always cooks nicely in this much amount of time. Just soak or cook extra 5 minutes if this is not enough for the dal you have. Thanks for trying.

      5. Hi Malani! This looks delicious. I am planning to make this, dal makhani, no yeast naan, and baingan bharta for a vegetarian indian meal with my family.
        I’m wondering whether we can use toor dal (split pigeon peas) instead of chana dal?

        Also, without the pressure cooker, are these the edits to make: soak the dal overnight ideally, then cook in a pot on the stove for longer than 12 minutes? and still add tempering at the end?

        Thank you in advance!

      6. when mine cools …it becomes very dry? It becomes like the texture of hummus. Should I put extra water or maybe stop after the initial 12 minutes?

        Thanks

      7. I made this today, turned out lovely. @Indira said hers was overcooked. I had too cook mine for an additional 2 mins, 12 was not enough, it was undercooked. I think it depends on how old the dal is. Thanks Manali!

      8. 5 stars
        This has become one of my favorite recipes since getting my instant pot. It’s easy and tastes delicious. Thanks!

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