Jump to the Instant Pot Dal Palak Recipe
If I wrote an autobiography it would be called The Dal Diaries: Stories of a Reluctant Cook. When it is cold I crave dal and when it is warm I crave dal. When I am sad I want dal and when I am happy I *drumroll*....want dal. In my head there is a dal for every mood and it is my mission in my life to get my kids to feel the same way. Dal Roti was a staple meal for me growing up and if I shut my eyes and think about family meals during my childhood in Jeddah or later years in Karachi I always see a steaming bowl of dal on the table. That smell of the hot baghaar in it's whirling sizzle as it hits the dal remains one of my favourite aromas. Just imagine, sizzling baghar...hot dal palak... THE SMELL!
Dal is rich in iron and as I, like many South Asians, have low iron levels. Since I am a food over pills girl I do my best to include iron rich foods in my diet. All dals check that box. I have also recently made a concerted effort to have more meatless meals and dal leaves me feeling full longer than other vegetarian dishes. It also is probably a tad bit healthier than my other great love which is Potatoes. Arhar/Toor Dal takes a long time to cook, but using the Instant Pot makes the process much faster. See, this Instant Pot Dal Palak it is a winner all around.
What Makes this Dal Different
Now let's talk more about this Instant Pot Dal Palak. If you have made any of the dal recipes on my blog then you will see that this one is quite different. The fresh grated ginger makes the biggest difference. It creates a flavour that is sharper, punchier and brighter than most and I love that. Most dals are better the next day, but this one even more so as the flavours meld together. Since it is made from dals that thicken naturally I do suggest adding water and reheating your leftovers stove top. I have also made this Instant Pot Dal Palak with Kale and it totally works. If you are reluctant to go the ginger root or simply don't like the flavour feel free to skip it entirely or halve the quantity. Also half the time I make it I skip the red chilli powder and compensate with loads of green chillies for a different flavour. What you do is up to you 🙂
Instant Pot Dal Palak
To Cook in the Instant Pot
- ½ cup Arhar/Toor Dal
- ¼ cup Moong Dal
- ¼ cup Masoor Dal
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- ½-1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (optional, see notes)
- 1 tsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Diced Tomato
- 3.5 cups Water
- Juice of half a lemon
- ¼ cup Diced Cilantro
- 2-4 Minced Green Chillies
- 3-4 cups washed, chopped spinach
- Additional salt to taste
- 3 Sliced Cloves of Garlic
- ¾ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 3-4 Dried Whole Red Chillies
- Add all the IP ingredients to the pot - Put on Manual for 18 minutes. Quick Release.
- Mix in all the ingredients in the Add Ins category, taste, adjust seasoning. I usually add more lemon/salt
- Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a small pan, when it is hot add the cumin seeds, garlic, and dried red chillies, cook till the garlic is amber coloured and pour over daal.
- use whatever combination of dal you like - simply adjust cook times! Chana Dal works very well
- I sometimes omit red chilli powder and just up the green chilli, but if you want a more traditionally Pakistani taste then halve the ginger, add ½ tsp garlic paste and use ½ tsp red chilli powder
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This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing
Glad you think so! Thank you so much!
That looks delicious, Sarah! It's definitely one of my favorite foods too. I didn't know daal had iron or that you grew up in Jeddah!
Hey! Thanks for stopping by Komal! And yes both those things are true! That's why I eat daal by the bowlfuls and manage to dodge taking supplements!
this sounds like my dream daal. where has it been all my life????
In my imagination? Lol, I kid. I didn't invent it 🙂
This recipe looks so great! Just one question- I’m not seeing the ginger in the recipe at the bottom. How much do I add and when? Thanks!!!
Hi Amna!!! I am seeing it (1 tsp) but I did notice that I apparently had some updates to do and just did those. Could you possibly hit refresh and tell me if you see it?
I see it now. Thanks!!!
Yay! Thanks for letting me know!
Made it the other day and it was great!!! Thanks for sharing!
thank you very much for trying it and for your kind words!!!!
This is the The THE best level of comfort food 🙌🏻
Why thank you so much!!!!
The hubby says please send some over and (for a change) I agree! 😂 he has been after me for a While to make daal (and not the kaali kind which I love) and I havent gotten round to it.. this looks fantastic. I think I shall buy some toor daal (never used it before) this weekend or maybe do it with moong and masoor only? Would cook time in the IP be different without the toor daal?
I dont know man.... there is that whole tomato in there and I know how Asif feels about those! Toor aka Arhar is similar to Chanay ki Daal but smaller and with a more mellow flavour. This daal totally works with chanay ki daal as well!
Thank you for this easy to follow recipe and the clarification on insta...I made this daal today - in a pressure cooker rather than the instant pot - and it was absolutely delish! easy and Yummy as promised! Am a big fan of your blog. Keep these recipes coming!
you are so sweet! thank you!
Syeda Zaki says
Shared this awesome recipe with basically everyone at work 🙂 at first they freaked out seeing all the Urdu names
For daals so I suggested just using split red lentils which are easily available at most stores.
thanks Syeda!!! also great suggestions on the daal front 🙂
my search for the perfect daal recipe is now over, thanks to you! this turned out delicious! i love your blog and appreciate all of the time and effort you put into sharing with us.
that is so so wonderful to hear!thank you!
Bushra Osmani says
I just made this, and it is literally the YUMMIEST daal I have ever had! I’ve handed out the recipe to a bunch of people already. It’s also so easy! Thank you for sharing the recipe! You are awesome!
Thank you thank you thank you!
Najia Masood says
I’m planning to make this dal in my Ninja foodi. I will use the same settings. I don’t have the fresh palak with me at this moment, can I use the frozen spinach? If yes then how much?
Hi Najia! You can use frozen spinach for sure - how much depends on how spinach-y you like it, but I'd mix in 200g to start with!
Love this! I think I gave it 3 when I meant to give it 5 stars:/ New to Instant Pot and loving desi recipes to make my life easier:)
Thank you Saadia!!! I LOVE the instant pot for making these kinds of dishes so much easier!
If amounts are double, so it time right?
Hi! If you are doubling the amounts then I'd suggest only adding five minutes to pressure time!
Sarah! I was looking to use up some spinach and thought dal would make a good home for it lol. I had chana dal on hand and it worked perfect in place of toor. Hit the spot! Thank you for another excellent & easy recipe.
Hi, I never used to make daal until I found this recipe and I’ve made this with just mung and Masoor and love it - so thank you!! Have a question though - sometimes the serving for 4 is a bit too much for me, I’m unsure of how to halve the recipe especially in terms of the water. Would you have any guidance with this?
Glad you enjoyed it! I’d actually freeze half the boiled daal for convenience and then defrost it later and add fresh baghaar, dhania etc. Otherwise in terms of ratios it’s a straight halving
Izza Ashraf says
My toddler is OBSESSED with this dal and it's such a breeze to make!!Thank you for such a delish and easy recipe!5 stars🔥🔥
Love this daal recipe, always turns out fab and had never thought of adding in spinach which works so well here
Sarah Mir says
I am so glad you liked it! I didn't grow up with a lot of daal palak either, but I love how it makes it more wholesome!
So savory and all around comfort night meal for my American Pakistani family. The quantity of each spice was the perfect amount. Thank you! Finally, a good daal recipe for a beginner chef like me that WORKS! And a bonus - its taste is so close to the taste of my mom's and grandma's daal recipes. YUM.
Sarah Mir says
Thank you so so very much Mishal for sharing this! I am glad to hear this recipe hit the notes of home, there is nothing quite like that feeling - thank you once again!
My go to IP daal Palak recipe! Love it
Sarah Mir says
That is great to hear thank you!!!