A fantastic vegan and gluten free whole masoor dal lentil curry that tastes best with hot steamed rice, quinoa or rotis. A healthy and comforting dal in bowl!
Made with whole brown lentils, it is a great protein packed vegetarian dinner. You can even relish it as soup.
Dhal or Dals - A staple that we Indians cannot live without. In fact, in every Indian homes you will find one or the other dal lentils in their home cooked meals.
There are various dals that is essentially important in Indian cuisine. They are Toor dal, Moong Dal, Masoor Dal, Chana Dal and Urad Dal. Also, they have their different types i.e. skinned and split as well as whole.
Dal lentils are such a versatile ingredient with long shelf life. And you can can easily turn them into soups, stews, curries, salad, pulao, biryanis and what not!
At the same time, dals are full of nutrients, economical as well as easy to cook! And of course delicious, a true comfort food!
About this dal lentil recipe
So, today I am sharing one of most popular Dal recipes which is not only our favorite but loved by one and all worldwide. The Whole Masoor Dal Recipe or Whole Brown Lentil Curry in Instant Pot!
Call it a curry or soup, it is cooked in basic handy ingredients like onion tomatoes and spices. It's easy to cook and tastes delicious.
This whole brown lentils has a particular taste that is absolutely amazing.
You just don't need to add too many things or any kind of special tadka or tempering to enhance it's flavor. A good masala base of onions, tomatoes and basic spices is all that we need! 🙂
Now, let us talk about what is masoor dal! As said above, it has two versions - the Whole and the Split!
Split ones are skinned red lentils to which we call it as Red Masoor Dal, Malka Masoor or Dhuli masoor in Hindi. Further, you will also find the whole variety that is without the skin.
The one that we are using in this recipe is whole masoor with the skin on - the Whole brown lentils.
We would call this whole black masoor as Kali Masoor, Khadi Masoor, Akha Masoor as well as Sabut Masoor in Hindi.
So, let's get into it's ingredients, method, variations, tips and much more!
You will love this lentil curry - Try it!
Because, its delicious, super flavorful, naturally creamy - all at the same time! Yeah, you really need not add any kind of cream to make it thick and creamy.
No pre-soaking needed!
A perfect one pot weeknight dinners! Make it extra for the next day, coz, leftover tastes amazing!
It is healthy, vegan, gluten free! Try it as a warm lentil soup with a slice of your favorite bread.
A perfect spiced lentil curry and you can definitely tone down the spices and chillies as you like.
All you need is basic pantry ingredients to bring this curry together in minutes.
- Whole Masoor dal.
- Onions : Finely chopped or sliced.
- Tomatoes : Finely chopped. You can use 2 tablespoons of tomato paste instead.
- Ginger and Garlic : I have used paste here but you can use minced or grated ginger and garlic.
- Green Chilies or Serrano peppers : Chopped or Slit, any of it would do.
- Spice Powders : Red chilli powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Garama Masala Powder.
- Curry Leaves (optional - You can skip it, if not available).
- Dry Mango powder : If not handy, add lemon juice at the end once the dal is cooked.
- Oil or Ghee, Salt and Pepper. No ghee for vegan version.
- Water (or Vegetable Stock / Chicken Stock). No Chicken stock for vegan version!
Instant pot recipe step by step
To begin with, clean and rinse the masoor dal well and set it aside.
Place steel insert and and switch on the IP. Press Sauté mode. Once it displays 'Hot', heat oil.
Then, add cumin seeds and curry leaves, sauté for few seconds. Photo 1.
Add chopped onion and sauté until onion are soft (for about 2 minutes). Next, add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies and sauté for another 30 seconds to remove the raw smell. Photo 2.
Now, Add finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric, ground coriander and red chilli powder. Cook for 2 minutes or until tomato softens. Photo 3.
Then, add whole masoor, garam masala powder, dry mango powder (optional) and salt, mix well. Photo 4.
Add 2.5 to 3 cups of water and give it a stir. (Here you can add vegetable stock or chicken stock, if you wish to). Photo 5.
Close the pot and seal the lid. Pressure cook the dal on 'High' for 15 minutes. (It should take around 7-8 minutes to come to pressure). Photo 6.
Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally.
Open the pot, give a nice stir to the dal, add lemon juice and mix. At this point you can add some ghee and a bit Kasuri Methi here if you want to. Photo 7 and 8.
Dish out, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice, salad and poppadom.
Stove top recipe step by step
Clean and rinse dal well, set it aside.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
Then, add onions and fry until soft. Add ginger and garlic paste and green chilies, saute for few seconds or high heat until raw smell goes off.
Next, add chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander and red chilli powder, mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until tomatoes softens and masalas are done well.
Add rinsed dal, garam masala powder, dry mango powder and salt, mix. Add 2.5-3 cups of water and pressure cook the dal for 3-4 whistles and then simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
Once the cooking is over, wait until pressure releases naturally.
Open the cooker, give a nice stir to the dal, add lemon juice and mix. At this point you can add some ghee and a bit Kasuri Methi here if you want to.
Dish out, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice or roti.
So, the best way to serve this delicious Masoor Dal Lentil Curry is to top it over the bed of hot steamed rice. You can also serve this with Jeera Rice or Ghee Rice!
The great part is this lentil curry taste simply awesome with quinoa, brown rice as well as couscous. It pairs perfect with Laccha Paratha, rotis, naan and rotis.
We, at home usually serve this Masoor Dal and Rice with fried or baked poppadom, pickle or coconut chutney / Green chutney and cucumber tomato salad on side. This Dal Rice combo meal is Bliss! Drooling already!
Storage and freezing
In the fridge : This dal lentil curry says very well upto 5 days. Transfer it into clean airtight box and store. Remember to add a bit of water while reheating as this dal tends to thicken after it cools down.
In the freezer : Transfer the dal into clean airtight freezer safe box in portions of in bulk. It freezes well upto 4 months. Before serving, thaw it for few hours on counter, re-heat, add water if required, check for seasoning and serve hot.
If you are planning to add this lovely Whole Masoor Dal for potluck of parties, then consider adding a bit of cream and ghee for more richness and taste.
Try adding adding bit of crushed Kasuri Methi and fried onion at the end of cooking. Simmer for couple of minutes, it enhances the taste and aroma, both.
You can definitely add some coconut milk or cream for amazing flavor and aroma.
In fact, we also love when whole brown lentil dal is cooked with mutton chunks or keema (mince).
I don't eat beef, but I have made it quite a times for my husband. So, if you love to eat beef, then you have to try cooking it with this dal. "It tastes amazing", that's what my husband says! 🙂
Trust me on this guys, the non vegetarian version tastes simply out of this world.
You guys won't believe that every fortnight my family demands to eat mutton whole masoor dal curry. And, every week at least once you will find this vegan brown lentil dal on our table for dinner.
If are really keen on trying it with lamb chunks or keema, drop me a mail or write in the comments below. I shall update this post with step by step recipe for non vegetarian version also.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answer is yes! It is red lentils without the skin which can be whole as well as split!
And the red lentils with the skin on is called as whole brown lentils. Please do not get confused here!
You can make it in pot! Here I would recommend you to pre-soak the dal for 30-45 minutes.
Follow the exact steps mentioned for pressure cooker method. Add water or stock and bring it to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Keep stirring in between, and add more water if needed.
Usually, I cook masoor daal without pre soaking it. In this case, we should cook it for 3-4 whistles on high heat and then simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
If you pre soak the dal for 30 minutes, then cook it for 2 whistles on high heat and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Note: Remember to allow the pressure to release naturally.
On the other hand, skinned split red masoor takes lesser time to cook, 2 whistles plus natural release is fine!
Yes, definitely! Add all the ingredients in slow cooker and mix well.
Note: Use minced garlic and grated ginger for this method. And, tomato paste instead of chopped tomatoes.
Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7 hours on low.
Add lemon juice only once the dal is cooked. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve!
Masoor dal is indeed packed with nutrients and has lots of health benefits.
It is great source of dietary fibre, hence good for digestion and helps in lowering the cholesterol levels keeping your heart healthy.
This dal is also low in Glycemic Index which helps in stabilising the blood sugar level.
It can easily be listed under anti-ageing food as is packed with antioxidants and acts as immunity booster. Thus, helps keeping your skin healthy and glowing.
Daal masoor is a rich source of Vitamin A, C, E and essential minerals like Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium. Hence, helps maintain healthy vision, teeth and bones.
Include a bowl of cooked Masoor dal in your daily diet to reap full benefits out of it.
You may want to try : We usually cook the dal lentil curry with mutton more often. Where we also use the split Masoor Dal (Dal Gosht) in combination with Toor dal / Chana Dal / Mung Dal.
Here's some more Instant Pot curries you may like to make:
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Masoor Dal Recipe (Lentil Curry)
- 1 cup Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentils)
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil (or Ghee)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 10-12 Curry Leaves (Optional)
- ¾ cup Onion finely chopped
- 1.5 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste (or minced)
- 2-3 Green Chilies or Serrano Peppers slit or chopped
- 1 cup Tomato (or 2-3 tablespoons Tomato Paste) chopped
- ¾ teaspoon Turmeric
- 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder or Cayenne Pepper
- ¾ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Dry Mango Powder (Optional - you can skip it)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2.5-3 cups Water (or Vegetable Stock)
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
- Cilantro for Garnish
- Clean and rinse the whole masoor dal well and set it aside.
- Place steel insert and and switch on the IP. Press Sauté mode. Once it displays 'Hot', heat oil.
- Add cumin seeds and curry leaves, sauté for few seconds.
- Add chopped onion and sauté until onion are soft (for about 2 minutes). Next, add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies and sauté for another 30 seconds to remove the raw smell.
- Add finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric, ground coriander and red chilli powder. Cook for 2 minutes or until tomato softens.
- Add whole masoor, garam masala powder, dry mango powder (optional) and salt, mix well.
- Add 2.5 to 3 cups of water and give it a stir. (Here you can add vegetable stock or chicken stock, if you wish to).
- Close the pot and seal the lid. Pressure cook (or manual) on 'High' for 15 minutes. (It should take around 7-8 minutes to come to pressure).
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the pot, give a nice stir to the dal, add lemon juice and mix. At this point you can add some ghee and a bit Kasuri Methi here if you want to.
- Dish out, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice, salad and poppadom.
Making It In Pressure Cooker On Stove Top
- Follow all the steps eaxctly as mentioned above until you add water.
- Cover and pressure cook it for 3-4 whistles on high heat and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Let pressure release naturally. Open the cooker, give it a stir, add lemon juice and mix.
- Dish out, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.