Cook With Manali's Whole Masoor Dal

Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentils) cooked in the Instant Pot. This simple and flavorful dal is vegan and gluten-free and pairs well with rice for a comforting meal.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword whole masoor dal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 229 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 2 votes


  • 1 tablespoon oil, 15 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup whole masoor dal, brown lentils
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it's hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for few seconds.

  2. Then add the chopped ginger, onion, green chili and mix. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until onions are light golden brown in color. Stir often.

  3. Add in the tomatoes and de-glaze the pot by scrapping the bottom with a spatula. There shouldn't be anything stuck at the bottom.

  4. Add the spices- coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala. Also add the salt and mix. Cook for 1 minute.

  5. Add the rinsed whole masoor dal to the pot and toss with the masala.

  6. Then add in the water and stir. Close the pot with the lid. 

  7. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 13 to 14 minutes, with the pressure valve in sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.

  8. Open the pot and add chopped cilantro and mix. At this point, you can also add a teaspoon of ghee for extra flavor. You can also add crushed kasuri methi or squeeze in some lemon juice.

  9. Serve whole masoor dal with rice or roti or paratha. 

Stove-Top Pressure Cooker Instructions

  1. Follow all the steps as it is and then pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles on high heat. Let the pressure release naturally. Alternatively, you can also pressure cook the dal only with salt and turmeric and water and then make a tempering/tadka in a separate pan and add to the dal. 

Stove-Top Pan Instructions

  1. If you don't have a pressure cooker and want to make this dal, follow all the steps as it is until add the lentils. Add the lentils, water and then cook for around 30-35 minutes uncovered on medium heat until lentils are soft and done. You may need to adjust the amount of water here as water will evaporate when cooking in an open pot compared to a pressure cooker. 

Recipe Notes

To make the dal more flavorful, you can add a teaspoon of ghee before serving. You can also add crushed kasuri methi and little cream to make it richer and creamier. 

Nutrition Facts
Whole Masoor Dal
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Sodium 489mg21%
Potassium 644mg18%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 16g67%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 530IU11%
Vitamin C 13.9mg17%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 4.2mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.