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+ servings
zucchini dal served in a bowl garnished with cilantro and side of steamed rice
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5 from 5 votes

Instant Pot Zucchini Dal

Zucchini Dal recipe is a comforting and an easy dal made in Instant Pot pressure cooker with masoor dal (red lentils), zucchini, tomatoes, indian spices and cooked with pot-in-pot rice
Course Main Course
Cuisine North Indian
Keyword instant pot lentils, red lentils instant pot, zucchini dal
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 214kcal
Author Bhavana Patil


Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml

Dry Spices:

For Basmati Rice


Instant Pot Method:

  • Press Saute on Instant Pot. Add oil, and once it's hot, add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, asafetida, green chili, and saute for 15-20 secs.
  • Then add chopped onion. Saute till onions turn light brown.
  • Add tomatoes along with dry spices turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and cook till tomatoes turn soft, which takes 2-3 minutes.
  • Then add diced Zucchini, rinsed lentils or dal, salt, water, and give a stir. Adjust spices at this stage. No need to soak the dal for this recipe.
  • Once you add all ingredients for Zucchini Dal in the instant pot, place the trivet and then the bowl of rice with water. This way they will both cook together.
  • Close the lid on the pot, and turn the pressure valve to the SEALING position. Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and increase the timer to 5 minutes.
  • Once the pot beeps, let it release the pressure naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes.
  • Add cilantro and lime juice, mix well serve zucchini lentil curry hot with boiled rice, quinoa, or roti.

Stove Top Pressure Cooker:

  • In a pressure cooker, add diced zucchini, minced garlic-ginger, green chilies, onion, tomatoes, masoor dal, turmeric powder, salt, water, and pressure cook up to 2 whistles.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the tempering and add this tempering into the dal once cooked along with red chili powder and garam masala and let the dal simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  • Add cilantro and lime juice, mix well serve zucchini masoor dal hot with boiled rice, quinoa, or roti.


I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT

Tips & Variations:

  1. Choose tender and fresh zucchini with no seeds. Always taste a small piece of zucchini, if it's bitter discard it.
  2. Today I have used masoor dal (red lentils) with this zucchini recipe but you can use any kind of dal/lentils like toor dal, split yellow moong dal, or a mixture of toor, masoor, and moong dal.
  3. If you are a South Indian and want to make sambar with zucchini, follow the same steps, instead of the dry spices mentioned below add 1.5 tablespoons of sambar powder and some tamarind extract instead of lemon juice to make a zucchini sambar recipe.
  4. To make a simple no onion-no garlic dal, you can also skip onion and garlic.
  5. If one wants really soft mashed dal, 6 minutes manual/pressure cook (High Pressure) is probably the ideal setting in manual mode. But I like dals (lentils) to be a little firm so I selected 5 minutes Manual/Pressure Cooker (high pressure) option.
  6. Vegan Variation: Skip ghee and use the oil of your choice.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 710mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 14.6mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 4.2mg