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whole masoor dal served in a bowl garnished with lemon wedges and cilantro with a spoon and white rice and salad on the side
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5 from 4 votes

Whole Masoor Dal Recipe (Brown Lentils Curry)

Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentils Curry) recipe is a healthy and easy dal made in an Instant Pot pressure cooker with whole masoor dal, onions, tomatoes, and Indian spices.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword instant pot whole brown lentils, whole masoor dal instant pot
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 237kcal
Author Bhavana Patil


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic minced
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole masoor dal (brown lentils) rinsed
  • 2 ½ cups water (or vegetable broth)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped



Instant Pot Method

  • Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Heat oil, and add cumin seeds. Let them splutter. Add minced garlic, ginger, green chilies, and onions. Saute till the onions turn light brown.
    step to saute onions ginger garlic collage
  • Add tomatoes, spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt. Cook till the tomatoes turn soft and mushy, which takes 2-3 minutes.
  • Then add rinsed lentils (dal), water, and give a stir. Adjust spices at this stage. Also, Deglaze the pot to ensure no food particle sticks to the bottom to avoid the Burn message.
    step to cook tomatoes with spices and add whole brown lentils and water collage
  • Close the lid securely, and turn the vent to "SEALING". Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL (High Pressure) setting and set the cooking time to 15 minutes.
    When the instant pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure before removing the lid.
  • Lastly, squeeze some lime juice, and add coriander leaves. Mix well.
    Instant pot pressure cooker Whole masoor dal (brown lentils) recipe is ready. Serve hot with steamed ricequinoa, roti, or serve it as a soup.
    whole brown lentils curry in an instant pot garnished with cilantro with a spoon

Stovetop Pressure Cooker

  • Follow the steps from the instant pot instructions. Give 4-5 whistles on medium flame and let the pressure release naturally. All the other steps remain the same.

Stovetop Pot

  • If you don't have a pressure cooker and planning to make this dal on a stovetop pot then follow the same instructions till we add brown lentils and water.
    Then cook for around 30-35 minutes on medium heat or till lentils are soft and done. Adjust water accordingly.



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

Tips & Variations

  1. Soaking Lentils: If you soak the dal in water for 30 mins - 1 hour, it helps to cook lentils even faster.
  2. Other Lentils: You can adapt the same recipe using whole green lentils (moong dal). Follow the same instructions, and the cooking time remains the same.
  3. Pot-in-Pot: If you want to do pot-in-pot with brown rice, then soak the brown rice in warm water for an hour and then cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release (NPR).
  4. Adjust Consistency: If your dal is thick, you can add some water and adjust the consistency.
  5. No Onion-No Garlic: For a variation, you can also make this dal by skipping onion, and garlic as well.
  6. Leafy Greens: You can also add some leafy greens like baby spinach, kale, and mustard leaves after pressure cooking.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 5mg