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dal palak recipe served in a kadai with a spoon and rice on the side
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5 from 3 votes

Pressure Cooker Spinach Dal / Dal Palak Recipe

Instant Pot Spinach Dal|Dal Palak is an easy, healthy one-pot pressure cooker recipe prepared with split pigeon peas lentils, spinach, assorted spices
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword dal palak, healthy, instant pot, instant pot dal, lentil recipes, spinach dal, spinach recipes, under 30 minutes, vegan
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 152kcal
Author Bhavana Patil



Stovetop Method

  • Cook the Dal (Lentils)
    Rinse the dal 2-3 times until the water runs clear.
    Pressure cook ½ cup of rinsed toor dal with 2 cups of water in the Instant Pot or traditional stovetop pressure cooker.
    step to cook toor dal collage
  • Instant Pot: Pressure cook on Manual (High Pressure) for 8 minutes with natural pressure release.
    Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook on high heat for 2-3 whistles and wait for natural pressure release.
    Then mash the dal using a whisker or potato masher.
    step to mash the dal collage
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil (or ghee) in a kadai (or dutch oven), add cumin seeds, and let them splutter.
  • Next, add minced ginger, garlic, and green chili. Saute for a few seconds until the raw smell goes away.
    step to prepare the tempering collage
  • Then add finely chopped (or pureed) tomatoes along with spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Then add finely chopped spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes or till the spinach wilts.
    step to saute tomatoes with spices and spinach collage
  • Then add the cooked and mashed toor dal and mix until well combined. Add ½ to 1 cup of water to adjust the consistency of the dal as per your preference.
    Simmer the dal palak for 2-3 minutes on medium-low flame.
  • Finally, add some garam masala, and lemon juice. Mix well. Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust more salt if required.
    step to add the dal and cook collage
  • Serve this Indian Dal fry hot with basmati rice, pickle, papad or roti, naan.
    palak dal in a kadai

Instant Pot Method:

  • Wash and rinse the dal, and keep it aside. Press SAUTE mode on Instant Pot. Add oil, and once it's hot, add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
  • Add minced ginger, garlic, and green chilies, and saute till the raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away.
  • Then add chopped tomato along with spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Now add the rinsed dal, and water, and give a stir.
  • Close the Instant Pot with a pressure valve to sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes.
    Once the pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes.
  • Add chopped baby spinach, garam masala, and lemon juice. Give a stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes till the spinach wilts as per your preference. Also, adjust the consistency of the palak dal at this point.
  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Spinach dal/Dal Palak is ready and serve it hot with rice, or quinoa.


Tips to Make the Best Dal Palak

  • Type of Dal (Lentils): Spinach Dal is typically made from toor dal/arhar dal (split pigeon peas). You can replace toor dal, with moong dal (yellow lentils) or masoor dal (red lentils) or use a combination of toor, and moong dal.
  • Soaking Lentils: You don't need to soak the dal for this recipe. To speed up the process, you can soak the toor dal in water for 30 mins, and Pressure Cook on High just for 6 minutes.
  • Dal Consistency: The preferred consistency of Dal Palak should be medium thick. If it's too thick, add little water to adjust the consistency. If your dal is watery, you can turn on the saute mode and boil for another 2-3 minutes in the end.
  • Spices: Increase or decrease the spices according to your preference.


  • Don't have garam masala? No worries, replace it with half a teaspoon each of cumin powder and coriander powder.
  • Other Greens: You can also replace spinach with kale or any greens.
  • Gluten-free: Skip asafoetida (hing) or use gluten-free asafoetida to make gluten-free dal fry.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7.5g | Fat: 4.3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3400IU | Vitamin C: 56.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1.8mg