Go Back
+ servings
Whole Masoor Dal Lentil Curry garnished with cilantro in Indian wok kadai.
Print Recipe
4.13 from 8 votes

Masoor Dal Recipe

A fantastic vegan and gluten free whole masoor dal curry that tastes best with hot steamed rice, quinoa or rotis. A healthy and comforting dal in bowl!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Vegan
Servings: 4
Calories: 263kcal
Author: Farrukh Aziz


  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker


  • 1 cup Whole Masoor (Brown Lentils)
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil (or Ghee)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 10 - 12 Curry Leaves (Optional)
  • ¾ cup Onion finely chopped
  • 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
  • 2½ - 3 cups Water (or Vegetable Stock)
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • Cilantro for Garnish


  • Clean and rinse the whole masoor 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.


Adjust the spices and chillies as per your liking.
Skip curry leaves and dry mango powder if not available in your region.
Try adding little bit of ghee for best taste if you don't follow vegan diet.
Keep in mind that the cooked dal thicken further after it cools down. So, add water as per the consistency you need.
Slightly overcook the dal, it tastes to super good and naturally creamy when mushy.
For richer and creamier dal, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of cream. 
Leftover dal tastes better, so make some extra for next day and enjoy with naan bread or rice.


Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 681mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 477IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 4mg