Instant Pot Dal Makhani Recipe

Were you scouring a cookbook for an easy and delicious meal? Grab your Instant Pot because we're here to help. This succulent spread is delectable and health coach-approved. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn tried her hand at this Punjabi recipe just for you. 

Dal makhani is a plant-based dish native to northern India. The name itself is derived from the Hindi word for "butter." This dish combines the hearty protein from black lentils with the iron and potassium of red kidney beans. Serving dal makhani over rice makes for a complete protein, a combination used to replace meat in many vegetarian diets. You heard that right: No meat required!

For our version of this recipe, prep time begins the day before, but the cook time is short. This method yields enough to feed four. Without a doubt, your family will be ecstatic to join you at the table to enjoy this savory dish.

Get your ingredients together

Here's a quick list of everything pictured above. To make this savory Punjabi dish, start with black lentils, kidney beans, cooking oil, cumin seeds, garlic granules or garlic powder, ginger powder, and one onion chopped. 

We'll get a little saucy with diced tomatoes, water, chili powder, coriander, salt, and garam masala for taste. You'll also need the juice of a lemon, three cups of cooked rice, and chopped cilantro for the final touch.

Soak your lentils and beans

A day before the big dinner, you'll want to soak your lentils and beans. Pour a quarter cup of dry beans and one cup of dry black lentils into separate bowls to soak. Hahn recommends using enough water to cover at least four inches above the legumes. After they've soaked, rinse both the beans and lentils, then drain them well.

When we asked her about the lentil prep, Hahn told Mashed, "Soaking the lentils does a few things. It shortens the cook time, and it makes them easier to digest. If someone has a problem with beans or lentils in terms of digestion, soaking can really help."

Sauté the onions

Next, go ahead and set your Instant Pot on sauté mode and add a teaspoon of oil and your cumin seeds. Cook the seeds for a few minutes until they begin to snap. Then, add your onion, pour in half a teaspoon of garlic granules or powder, and add half a teaspoon of ginger into the mix. Stir to combine the ingredients, and sauté them together for about five minutes. 

Lastly, add in 14 ounces of diced tomatoes (canned or fresh). Toss in a teaspoon of chili powder and coriander, a teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of garam masala. Mix the spices together with the cooked ingredients, and sauté them together for about two minutes more.

Add in your lentils, beans, and water

After the two minutes is up, select "cancel" on the Instant Pot. Pour in the drained black lentils, kidney beans, and three cups of water. Place the lid atop the Instant Pot, and change the nozzle setting to "sealing." Select the "pressure cook" option on the face of the Instant Pot with a timer for 30 minutes. 

Hahn says the Instant Pot will take 15 minutes to reach full pressure. Once it does, it will begin cooking, and you'll see the cook time on the left display of the front panel.

Pressure cook your delicious dal makhani

When the timer goes off, Hahn told us to let the Instant Pot release naturally for 20 minutes. Afterward, switch the nozzle on the lid to "venting." Stand back at a safe distance because the remaining steam pressure will release out of the top lid and may do so with force.

Now that the dal makhani is ready, splash in the juice of half a lemon. Hahn adds, "This dish is absolutely delicious. It is savory and has a real depth of flavor with all of the spices. I love adding lemon to lentil dishes, as it helps bring everything to its peak flavor as well."

In case you want to double-check for proper texture, Hahn told Mashed, "The lentils are cooked when they are soft but not mushy." Lastly, finely chop a quarter cup of cilantro to garnish each serving dish.

Enjoy this divine delight

Set the table and invite everyone to feast on this rich Indian nosh! Dal makhani keeps so well, even the leftovers will be a hit! Hahn told us, "This stores really nicely in the fridge in a sealed container. Lentil dishes like this are so great for meal prep. They last all week and can be heated up for a quick lunch or dinner. It's great with leftover rice or any grain like quinoa or farro." 

This dish is hearty, healthy, and will fill your family without emptying your wallet. We encourage you to give it a try!

Instant Pot Dal Makhani Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
Were you scouring a cookbook for an easy meal? Grab your Instant Pot — we're here to help. This succulent spread is delectable and health coach-approved.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Rice topped with Dal Makhani
Total time: 42 minutes
  • 1 cup dry black lentils
  • ¼ cup dry kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic granules or powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped, for topping
  1. Soak the lentils and beans in water overnight. Use enough water to cover at least 4 inches above dry beans and lentils. Rinse and drain.
  2. Set Instant Pot on sauté and add oil and cumin seeds. Cook for a couple of minutes until they start to snap. Add the onion. garlic, and ginger. Stir to combine and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  3. Now add in the tomatoes and spices. Stir and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Select cancel. Add in the drained lentils, beans, and water. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the nozzle on the lid is set to "sealing." Select "pressure cook" and set the time to 30 minutes. The Instant Pot will take 15 minutes to reach pressure. At that point, it will start the cook time.
  5. When the timer goes off, let the Instant Pot natural release for 20 minutes. At that point, switch the nozzle on the lid to "venting." Stand back when you do this, as any remaining pressure will release with force out of the top lid.
  6. Add in lemon juice and serve with rice. Top with cilantro.
Calories per Serving 430
Total Fat 5.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 79.0 g
Dietary Fiber 11.7 g
Total Sugars 5.4 g
Sodium 627.8 mg
Protein 19.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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