Instant Pot Dal Makhani

5 from 2 votes

Rich, creamy, and buttery, this One-Pot Instant Pot Dal Makhani is nothing less than impressive. You can make this restaurant-quality dish at home with just a few ingredients.

If you want to try more Instant Pot recipes, here are some of my everyday favorites: Instant Pot Hot Chocolate, Instant Pot Chicken Curry, Instant Pot Chicken Stew, and Instant Pot Cuban Chicken Soup.

Instant pot dal makhani served in a bowl.
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I also joined the bandwagon and bought myself an Instant Pot. I am not the one who falls for every new gadget that enters the market, but after extensively reading about the benefits of using an Instant Pot, I was tempted to buy one.

Instant Pot was just released and was very expensive in India compared to the US. So, I asked my sister to get me one on her upcoming visit.

I have a voltage converter, so the 110 V was not an issue.

Now that I have used it for some time, I am a big promoter. It is easier than using a traditional stovetop pressure in many ways. I will talk on that subject later, but for today, I am sharing my very popular dal makhani recipe, which I made using Instant Pot.

About Instant Pot Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani (Black Dal, Kali Dal) is a rich, creamy curry made with lentils and butter. It is one of the creamiest and richest dal in northern India.

You will find this dal on the menu of almost every North Indian restaurant, and no parties or special occasions in the Northern part of India are complete without it being on the menu.

I am sharing a One-Pot Instant Pot Dal Makhani Recipe in this post. Dal Makhani, made in an instant pot, tastes just like the ones made traditionally, minus all the time and hard work.

This Instant Pot makhani dal recipe is quick, fuss-free, rich, and creamy. It comes together without much effort, and the taste is comparable to that of your favorite Indian restaurant.

You can also check out my classic Dal Makhani post to make it more traditional.

I made this recipe in my 3-quart instant pot. If you want to scale it up, use a bigger pot (6 qt). The cooking time will remain the same.

Ingredients

Lentils – To make this delicious buttery dal makhani, you will need whole black lentils (whole black urad) and Bengal gram lentils (chana dal). Adding chana dal is my secret to making the creamiest dal makhani.

These lentils are soaked in water for 8 to 10 hours or overnight to cook faster and become easily digestible.

Kidney Beans – Add red kidney beans (rajma) along with lentils. These are also soaked for 8-10 hours or overnight and then cooked with the lentils.

Ghee – I will always recommend you make dal makhani recipe in ghee. Ghee adds a distinct flavor, aroma, and richness to the dal.

Butter and Cream – These are must ingredients in a dal makhani recipe, as the name itself has ‘Makhan.’ So do not compromise on them.

Tomato Puree adds perfect tartness to the dal. For better taste, I recommend using canned tomato puree. You can also replace tomato puree with tomato paste.

Kasuri Methi is my favorite ingredient whenever I want to add a restaurant-style touch to my homemade dals and curries.

Others – You will also need bay leaves (tejpatta), green cardamoms (hari elaichi), red onions, ginger-garlic paste, fresh ginger, Kashmiri red chili powder, Roasted Cumin Powder, garam masala powder, and salt.

How To Make Dal Makhani In Instant Pot

Wash the following ingredients with water and soak them together in 5-6 cups water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

  • ½ cup whole black lentils
  • ¼ cup red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon Bengal gram

Drain the water and wash the lentils once again. Drain well and set aside.

Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot.

When it says HOT, add 4 tablespoon of ghee to the pot.

Ghee heating in an instant pot.

When the ghee is hot, add 2 green cardamoms and 2 bay leaves and saute for 4-5 seconds.

Cardamoms and bay leaves added to the pot.

Add 1 cup of grated onions and cook for 8-10 minutes until they are pinkish, stirring frequently.

Grated onions added to the pot.

Now add 2 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and cook until onions turn lightly browned (6-7 minutes), stirring frequently.

Ginger garlic paste added to the pot.

Add the following ingredients and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  • 6 tablespoon of canned tomato puree (or 4 tablespoon tomato paste)
  • 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
Tomato puree, chili powder, cumin powder, and ginger added to the pot.

Add the following ingredients to the pot and stir well.

  • soaked lentils and kidney beans
  • 2 and ½ cups of water
  • 2 teaspoon salt
Soaked lentils, rajma, salt and water added to the pot.

Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.

Lid closed.

Press CANCEL, press PRESSURE COOK, and set the timer to 35 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE. The instant pot will take some time to build the pressure and the timer to start.

Once the timer goes off, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the vent to the venting position.

Open the pot lid and mash the lentils very well using the back of a spoon or a potato masher until they are creamy.

Cooked dal.
Mashed dal.

Press CANCEL and then press the SAUTE button again.

Cook the dal for 8-10 minutes and keep mashing it frequently. Add some water if the dal is too thick for your liking.

Water added to the cooked dal to thin it a bit.

Add the following ingredients to the pot and mix well.

  • 2 tablespoon of butter (salted or unsalted)
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of Kasuri methi
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Butter, cream, kasuri methi a nd garam masala added to the pot.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Garnish with heavy cream swirls and crushed Kasuri methi, and serve!

Ready instant pot dal makhani.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make vegan dal makhani?

To make a vegan dal makhani, you must substitute a few ingredients in the recipe. You can use vegetable oil instead of ghee, vegan butter instead of butter, and cashew or coconut cream instead of dairy cream.

Can I use canned kidney beans to make dal makhani?

Technically, you can use canned kidney beans, but I see no advantage in using them in this recipe. Since the canned beans are already cooked, you must add them at the end of the cooking and cook for 5-6 minutes. It doesn’t save you any time. Canned beans are more expensive than dry beans, so you must spend more.

Is it necessary to soak the lentils to make dal makhani in an instant pot?

Soaking the lentils reduces the cooking time and also makes them easily digestible. But if you have forgotten to soak them, increase the pressure cooking time to 50 minutes. Otherwise, follow the rest of the recipe as it is.

How do I give dal makhani a smoky taste?

You can Dhungar it to give dal makhani a restaurant-style smoky taste. Heat a piece of charcoal over direct heat until it is red hot. Keep a small bowl in the dal’s center and the charcoal piece in it. Now drizzle one teaspoon of ghee over the charcoal and immediately close the pot lid. Let it rest for 10 minutes. The charcoal will release smoke absorbed by the dal, making it smoky. Discard the charcoal after 10 minutes, stir the dal, and serve.

Pro Tips By Neha

Do not skimp on ghee and butter.

This dal tastes the best the next day. So, if possible, make it a day before serving.

If you forgot to soak the lentils, wash and add them to the pot, increasing the pressure cook time to 50 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally once the timer goes off, and then open the lid. 

For better taste, I recommend using store-bought tomato paste or puree, as they are more concentrated in flavor than homemade puree.

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Rich, creamy, and buttery, this One-Pot Instant Pot Dal Makhani is nothing less than impressive. You can make this restaurant-quality dish at home with just a few ingredients.
5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Dal Makhani Recipe

Rich, creamy, and buttery, this One-Pot Instant Pot Dal Makhani is nothing less than impressive. You can make this restaurant-quality dish at home with just a few ingredients.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Soaking Time: 10 hours
Total: 11 hours
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup whole black lentil (kali urad)
  • ¼ cup red kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 tablespoon Bengal gram lentil (chana dal)
  • 4 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 2 bay leaves (tejpatta)
  • 1 cup peeled and grated red onions
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 6 tablespoons canned tomato puree (or 4 tablespoon tomato paste)
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 and ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon crushed Kasuri methi
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
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Instructions 

  • Wash black lentils, kidney beans, and Bengal gram with water and soak them together in 5-6 cups of water for 8-10 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the water and wash the lentils once again. Drain well and set aside.
  • Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot.
  • When it says HOT, add ghee to the pot.
  • When the ghee is hot, add cardamoms and bay leaves and saute for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add onions and cook for 8-10 minutes until they are pinkish in color, stirring frequently.
  • Now add ginger-garlic paste and cook until onions are lightly browned (6-7 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Add tomato puree, chili powder, cumin powder, and ginger, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the soaked lentils and kidney beans with water and salt to the pot and stir well.
  • Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
  • Press CANCEL, then press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 35 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE. The instant pot will take some time to build the pressure and the timer to start.
  • Once the timer goes off, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  • Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the vent to the venting position. Use a kitchen cloth or a spoon to move the vent to prevent steam burn on the fingers.
  • Open the pot's lid and mash the lentils very well using the back of a ladle or a potato masher until they are creamy.
  • Press CANCEL and then press the SAUTE button again.
  • Cook the dal for 8-10 minutes, mashing it frequently. Add some water if the dal is too thick for your liking.
  • Add butter, cream, Kasuri methi, and garam masala to the pot and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Garnish with heavy cream swirls and crushed Kasuri methi ,and serve!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can Dhungar it to give a restaurant-style smoky taste to dal makhani. Heat a piece of charcoal over direct heat until it is red hot. Keep a small bowl in the dal’s center and the charcoal piece in it. Now drizzle one teaspoon of ghee over the charcoal and close the pot lid immediately. Let it rest for 10 minutes. The charcoal will release smoke absorbed by the dal making it smoky. Discard the charcoal after 10 minutes, stir the dal, and serve.
This dal tastes the best the next day. So if possible, make it a day before serving.
If you have forgotten to soak the lentils, wash and add them to the pot and increase the pressure cook time to 50 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally, and then open the lid. 
For better taste, I recommend using store-bought tomato paste or puree, as they are more concentrated in flavor than homemade puree.
I made this recipe in my 3-quart instant pot. If you want to scale the recipe, use a bigger pot (6 qt). The time of cooking will remain the same.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 1246mg, Potassium: 208mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 820IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 3mg
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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