Instant Pot Dal Makhani

Split lentils mixed with tomatoes, onion and spices in brown sup topped with parsley

Dal Makhani is a quick, appetizing, and widely loved Indian dish you can make in your Instant Pot in less than an hour.

Split lentils mixed with tomatoes, onion and spices in brown sup topped with parsley

Are you tired of making fancy dishes that take so much time and energy? Are you craving restaurant-cooked food but don’t want to go out or spend the money?

Well, this Instant Pot Dal Makhani recipe is your solution to these problems and more!

It’s also totally vegan! If you haven’t tried it yet, you’ve got to try this recipe.

Why This Recipe Works

This Instant Pot Dal Makhani recipe is great because there’s no need to pre-soak the lentils! Simply wash and rinse them before adding to the pot.

As you can see in this Instant Pot lentils recipe, making lentils in the Instant Pot takes less than 10 minutes. On this recipe we are cooking them for 30 minutes so it’s more than enough time to get them nice and tender and soak up all those flavors 🙂 If you were to make this dish on the stove top, it would take hours!

This Instant Pot Dal Makhani is so creamy that with just one bite you are going to love it. The first thing you'll notice will be its velvety smoothness, followed by the vibrant flavors of spices used. For a vegan dish, you won’t miss the meat at all! It’s so savory and has such deep flavor from the spices.

Instant Pot Dal Makhani Recipe Video

Recipe Ingredients

Dal Makhani ingredients

Lentils - You are going to need the brown lentils for this dish. Brown lentils are also known as "Masoor ki Dal".

Ghee – you can substitute butter if that’s what you have, but it will no longer be vegan. And in my opinion, ghee makes it taste better. If you can’t find it, you can even make ghee yourself using this Instant Pot ghee recipe.

Cumin seeds – you can also use ground cumin, but I like the strong flavor that using whole seeds adds.

Garam Masala – this is a blend of spices commonly used in Indian cuisine. If you can’t find it, you can make your own version by combining cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, and black pepper.

How to Make Instant Pot Dal Makhani

Gather all the ingredients.

Take 1 onion and chop it finely.

Dal Makhani-onion

Chop up 2 tomatoes into small pieces.

Dal Makhani-tomatoes

Take 3 teaspoon of Garlic and mince.

Dal Makhani-garlic

Now take your Instant Pot and set it to Saute for 7 minutes.

Take 2 tablespoon of Avocado Oil and pour it into Instant Pot.

Dal Makhani-avocado oil

Put cumin seeds, chopped onions, and bay leaf into the Instant Pot and mix well.

Dal Makhani

Now add all the other remaining ingredients into the instant pot and mix well.

Dal Makhani

Add 3 cups of water.

Dal Makhani

Put the lid on and set it to Manual High Pressure for 40 minutes. Do a quick release of pressure.

Add Cilantro, 2 tablespoon ghee, and mix well.Dal Makhani

Voila, your Dal Makhani is ready to be served.


Recipe Notes

  • This recipe is meant for dried lentils, rather than canned lentils. Do not substitute canned lentils or they will turn out mushy.
  • One of the great things about this Instant Pot Dal Makhani is that it’s vegan. BUT… if you’re not concerned about that, you can finish this dish with a pat of butter or a splash of heavy cream. This will add a much-welcomed richness 🙂

How to Serve Dal Makhani

This dish is traditionally served over Instant Pot Jasmine rice or brown rice.

It's also one of the best Naan Bread Side Dishes so you can have a complete meal in no time.

Recipe FAQs

What is Dal Makhani?

"Dal" means lentil where "Makhani" means buttery. It is a very similar flavor profile to Instant Pot Butter Chicken, also known as Chicken Makhani.

Are lentils healthy?

Lentils are widely known as one of the healthiest foods and it stands number 2 for being richest in protein. They’re also naturally gluten-free!

More Instant Pot Lentils Recipes

Cooks everywhere praise lentils for how its inconspicuous flavor makes it the ideal vessel for different fixings and flavors. For more ideas on how to use your Instant Pot to make innovative lentil dishes, try out this Instant Pot Lentil Curry or this Instant Pot Lentils and Rice.

For more ideas, you can check out our Instant Pot bean recipes.

Split lentils mixed with tomatoes, onion and spices in brown sup topped with parsley

Instant Pot Dal Makhani

One of the classic and popular lentil recipes with delicious Indian spices…
4.45 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Dal Makhani, lentils
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Corrie


  • 1 cup whole split lentils
  • 2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tomatoe chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • cilantro for garnish


  • Wash and drain the lentils and keep aside.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot and select saute.
  • Add cumin seeds, onion, bay leaf and sauté for 7 minutes.
  • Add ginger, garlic, spices, tomatoes and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  • Add lentils and water and mix well.
  • Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.
  • When cooking time is complete, do a quick pressure release.
  • Open the lid, add cilantro and ghee and mix well.
  • Serve and enjoy 🙂


Calories: 108kcal Carbohydrates: 4g Protein: 1g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 4g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 13mg Sodium: 398mg Potassium: 161mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Vitamin A: 495IU Vitamin C: 7mg Calcium: 23mg Iron: 1mg


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5 thoughts on “Instant Pot Dal Makhani

  1. 5 stars
    Oh! This was sooo delicious! I served it over brown rice. I'm a bit new to Indian food; this recipe is a keeper. I'll have to go through your 1001 recipes to find more! Thanks!

  2. Question: It is a natural DO NOT do a quick release after it's done cooking. Once the steam has been naturally released you open the lid.

        1. Oh, my apologies!! I think I read the comment too fast and thought she was asking about what a natural release means. I didn't even reference the recipe. You are right, this recipe calls for a quick release.

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