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Butternut Squash Dal served in a bowl topped with tempering and a piece of butternut squash on the side
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4.93 from 13 votes

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Dal

Butternut Squash Dal recipe is a comforting and an easy dal made in Instant Pot pressure cooker with toor dal (split pigeon peas lentils), butternut squash, tomatoes, Indian spices and cooked with pot-in-pot rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword butternut squash recipes, indian lentils, instant pot butternut squash dal
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 259kcal
Author Bhavana Patil


Measuring cup used 1 cup = 250 ml

Dry Spices:

For Basmati Rice

Extra Tempering (optional)


Instant Pot Method:

  • Firstly, soak toor dal (split pigeon peas) for 15 minutes in hot water.
  • Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add oil and once it’s hot add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
  • Then add ginger garlic paste, asafetida, green chili, chopped onion. Saute till onions turn light brown in color.
    step to saute onion and ginger collage
  • 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.
    step to cook tomatoes with spices collage
  • Then add diced butternut squash, rinsed & soaked lentils or dal, salt, water and give a stir. Adjust spices at this stage.
    step to add toor dal butternut squash pieces in to the water collage
  • Once you add all ingredients for Butternut squash Dal in the instant pot, place the trivet and then the bowl of rice with water. This way they will both cook together.
    step to cook dal with rice pot in pot collage
  • Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. If you don't have time to soak the dal, then increase the timer to 8 min high pressure.
  • Once the pot beeps, let it release the pressure naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes.
  • Lastly, add cilantro and lime juice, mix well. Serve instant pot lentil butternut squash curry hot with boiled rice, quinoa, or roti.
    butternut squash dal in instant pot insert

Stovetop Pressure Cooker:

  • Follow the steps from the instant pot instructions. Give 2-3 whistles on medium flame and let the pressure release naturally. All the other steps remain the same.


I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT.
  1. The size of the pieces of butternut squash is very important, try to dice each piece of 1.5 inches so that the squash won't get mushy and dissolve in the dal.
  2. Today I have used toor dal (split pigeon peas) for this butter squash recipe but you can use any kind of dal/lentils like red lentils (masoor dal), chana dal, split yellow moong dal, or a mixture of toor, masoor, and moong dal.
  3. Don’t skip out on soaking the toor dal for at least 15-20 minutes – toor dal takes a longer time to cook than butternut squash. Soaking softens the lentils and cooks faster, hence butternut squash will not turn mushy.
  4. You can also add bottle gourd, zucchini, or pumpkin to this dal.
  5. To make a simple no onion-no garlic dal, you can also skip onion and garlic.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5254IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg