Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it's hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for few seconds.
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.
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.
Add the spices- coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala. Also add the salt and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the rinsed whole masoor dal to the pot and toss with the masala.
Then add in the water and stir. Close the pot with the lid.
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.
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.
Serve whole masoor dal with rice or roti or paratha.
Stove-Top Pressure Cooker Instructions
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
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.
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.