Go Back
Instant Pot Coconut Dal
A super thick, super filling simple dal. Made with red and yellow lentils, it is a wonderfully satisfying meal in itself if not being served alongside a curry feast.
Servings: 4
: 414 kcal
Author: Just Jo
  • 1 tsp oil - coconut veg or mild olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 inch of ginger finely chopped
  • 3 dried red chillies*
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 150 g red lentils washed well under running water then drained
  • 150 g yellow lentils washed well under running water then drained
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 400 ml just boiled water
To finish
  • 1-2 tsp oil as above
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Seas salt to taste
  • Optional - lime juice to taste
  1. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add the oil.
  2. Cook the onion until softened and starting to brown around the edges, then add the garlic, ginger, chillies, cardamom, and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant until fragrant stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in the lentils then follow with the coconut milk and water. Stir really well and make sure you scrape the sides and bottoms down so to ensure all the lentils are covered with water.
  4. Cancel Sauté mode, put the lid on and set to Manual for 15 minutes. Allow a Natural Pressure Release. Give it a really good stir, crushing the lentils against the sides of the pan and it will come together to a thick purée with some whole lentils remaining.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat the extra oil you have and when hot add in the cumin and mustard seeds - be careful, they will sputter and split. Once sizzling, stir into the dal. Once stirred in, add a ladleful of the dal to the saucepan, swirl it about and pour back into the dal. As if by magic, any leftover seeds in the saucepan will slide right out into the pot!
  6. Stir in the coriander, taste and season with salt to your preference and add a squeeze of lime juice if you want a bit of bite. Serve immediately in bowls.
Recipe Notes

*= I use cherry bomb red chillies which are small and squat - if you can't find them, use one dried Kashmiri chilli which is much larger/longer.
If you have leftovers, you will need to reheat them in a saucepan, adding some just boiled water to thin it out again as leftover dal becomes quite solid and certainly very thick when cold.