Instant Pot: Dal Makhani, Buttery Black Dal

February 15, 2021

InstantPot › Legumes › Rice ›

Dal Makhani, Buttery Black Dal
Pressure Cooker Size: 3 quart or larger
Warm Up: 18 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cool Down: 10 minutes natural release plus manual release time
Total: 1 hour 8 minutes plus manual release time
Makes: 8 cups

1 ½ cups sabut urad (whole, dried black dal with skin), picked over and washed
½ cup rajmah (dried red kidney beans), picked over and washed
1 small red or yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 (1-inch piece) ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
1-4 Thai or serrano chiles, stems removed
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cassia leaf or 2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds **
¼ cup unsalted tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons red chile powder or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 tablespoons kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), lightly hand crushed to release flavor *
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups water
½ cup cream (dairy, or alternative like cashew)

1. Soak the urad dal and rajmah together in boiled, hot water for at least 1 hour. Drain and discard the water. Set aside.

2. In a food processor, grind the onion until smooth. Transfer to a separate bowl.

3. In the same food processor (no need to clean), grind the ginger and garlic until smooth and transfer to a separate bowl. Process the chiles until smooth and transfer to a separate bowl.

4. Place the inner cooking pot in your Instant Pot. Select the SAUTE setting and adjust to MORE. When the indicator flashes HOT, add oil.

5. Once hot, add hing, cumin seeds, turmeric, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Stir well and cook 1 minute until the seeds turn reddish brown. Because the oil pools to the sides, push spices into the oil along the border of the inner pot so they can cook fully.

6. Add fenugreek seeds. Cook 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook, as these seeds get bitter quickly.

7. Carefully add the onion and stir well. Cook 3 minutes until opaque and slightly brown. Be careful adding the onion as the water may splash when it hits the oil.

8. Add ginger and garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add fresh chiles. Cook 30 seconds. Press CANCEL.

9. Add tomato paste, ground cumin, coriander, red chile, ground cardamom, garam masala, kasoori methi, salt, and drained legumes. Stir well.

10. Add water and stir again.

11. Lock the lid into place and make sure the pressure release valve is set to the sealing position (upwards). Press the PRESSURE COOK button until the panel indicates MORE and adjust the time to pressure cook on HIGH for 40 minutes.

12. Once the cooking is complete, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure.

13. Gently fold in the cream and stir. Serve with basmati rice or Indian bread like roti or naan.

The Indian Instant Pot Project Many of you already know that I am working hard on my fourth book, The Indian Instant Pot, converting all of my Indian Slow Cooker recipes to the electric pressure cooker, or Instant Pot. This book will be different than most out there because I am showcasing family-style recipes that are full-flavored Indian (most books only test for 1 cup of product). As I test, I will share my 3 quart recipes like I did above. Rest assured, I am also testing recipes for my 6q and 8q, which will be in my upcoming book. The recipe for the 3q can be made in the 6q as well - the only thing that will usually change is the warm up time. Please enjoy making these recipes and let me know how they go by sending me an email or reaching out on social media. Also, please post your photos and use the hashtag #IndianInstantPot. Let's get the word out together. You have always been the Village I can count on the most and for that I just want to say humbly - thank you! xoxo Anupy. 

Curry Prep: Watch this video to see how to grind your onion, ginger, and garlic. In this recipe I prefer to grind the onion separately so that when I cook it the water evaporates a bit and it browns better. 


* Indian Ingredient CornerKasoori Methi
In the video below, I show you what dried fenugreek looks like. Though I would encourage you to make the above recipe without it, if you have a chance to find this ingredients please do purchase it. It is easily found at most Indian grocers. You can even find it online. It adds a delicious slightly bitter taste profile that plays well with your legumes. You'll notice that I also use ** fenugreek seeds. These are more easily found in mainstream markets, and lend a similar taste profile. Please never substitute seeds for leaves in recipes - they all work very differently when cooked.  For more videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla


Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up.

Categories and Tags

Get updates via email