Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (2024)

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You no longer have to go to an Indian restaurant to enjoy a bowl of delicious dal makhani. This pressure cooker dal recipe is quick and easy to make in an instant pot!

Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (1)

What is Dal Makhani?

State: Punjab

This popular Punjabi dal is so easy to make in an instant pot! Dal makhani is a rich and creamy dal recipe that calls for a combination of lentils: whole lentils that maintain their texture and split lentils that melt together to create a creamy dal. Stir some ghee into the dal before serving to give it a rich buttery flavor, and you’ve got the perfect bowl of lentil soup.

I’ve been eating dal makhani for as long as I can remember. I was a pretty picky eater as a kid, but I was always on board when it came to eating buttery lentils. A favorite childhood meal: dal makhani,roti, spicyachar (pickle), and dahi (yogurt). So simple but sotasty. Just thinking about itmakes me nostalgic.

Speaking of nostalgia, that’s pretty much the whole reason I’m even sharing this recipe. My mom makes the best dal makhani and right after I got married, she made sure to shareher recipe with me.By her recipe I mean, “Ash, just use a pinch of this, a handful of that, and a few scoops of this.”

In the past, her directions would overwhelm me… but now I think I’ve got the hang ofconverting “mom’s measurements” to actual measurements (#IndianKidProblems).Even though mom’s cooking is always the best, I have to say thisdal makhani isabsolutely spot on – or “on fleek” (wow… I feel super awkward and way too old to be using that phrase IRL. same with IRL…). The best part is, you can make this in your Instant Pot – a magical electronic pressure cooker that’ll have the dal done in no time at all.Trust me, this dal is restaurant-quality for sure.

How to Make Dal Makhani

So how do we make dal makhani in an instant pot? Easily!

There are very few steps – we saute onions first, then garlic, ginger, spices, and eventually tomatoes. Add soaked lentils to the pot along with some water and pressure cook. That’s it!

The hardest part about making dal makhani is the time you spend waiting for it to be done, and even that is thankfully shorter when you use the IP.

Dal Makhani Ingredients

  • Whole and Split Lentils: I use a combination ofwhole black lentils,whole mung beans, whole masoor beans,red lentils, red kidney beans and I soak them in cold or room temperature water overnight.
  • Spices: whole cumin seeds, bay leaf, garam masala, salt, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne
  • Onion
  • Garlic: you can use minced garlic or garlic paste.
  • Ginger: you can use minced ginger or ginger paste.
  • Tomatoes
  • Ghee: this is an important ingredient in dal makhani because it’s what adds the creaminess, the butteriness (makhan) to the dal.
Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (2)

Can I used canned beans instead of dried?

I’ve only tested this recipe using dried beans as I always keep dried beans in my pantry. Canned beans take up too much space in my little pantry and dried beans are also much more affordable. That said, I’m sure you can use canned beans but you’ll need to adjust the amount of water used in the recipe as canned beans are already cooked and won’t absorb water the way that dried beans will. My guess would be to start with two cans of beans. If you experiment, let us know how it goes! And if I get around to testing this recipe with canned beans I will be sure to update the post.

What can we eat with Dal Makhani?

Serve this dal with basmati rice and dahi (yogurt), and achar:

  • plain basmati rice
  • jeera rice
  • matar pulao
  • carrot achar
  • beet raita

Here are some other recipes to serve with dal makhani:

  • aloo gobi
  • masala cauliflower
  • corn kadai
  • paneer onion masala stir-fry
  • bhindi do pyaza
  • palak paneer
Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (3)

Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (4)

Instant Pot Dal Makhni Recipe

Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (5)

Instant Pot Dal Makhni Recipe

Dal makhani is one of the most popular lentil recipes. You can find it on the menu at almost every Indian restaurant. This is my mom's recipe and it's definitely restaurant-quality, if not better. Top these lentils with as much ghee as you want – the more ghee, the merrier!

4.92 from 67 reviews

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  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee adjust to taste
  • Cilantro garnish
  • Drizzle of heavy cream optional garnish


  • Soak the lentils in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside.

  • Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and once they start to brown, add the onion and bay leaf. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes or until the onion begins to brown.

  • Add the garlic, ginger, spices and stir, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes break down.

  • Add the lentils to the pot along with the 3 cups of water and mix well.

  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure.

  • Allow the pressure to release naturally.

  • Stir in the ghee and garnish with cilantro if desired.



  • Feel free to add more ghee to this recipe! Ghee is what gives this dal its delicious buttery flavor. You can also add a bit of heavy cream if you prefer!

Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

Pin This Recipe

Like this recipe? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board now so you will remember to make it later!

Like this recipe? Then check outmy cookbook: Indian Food Under Pressure for more Indian Instant Pot Recipes!

Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Try these:

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Instant Pot Saag
Instant PotCarne Guisada
Instant Pot Habanero Chili
Goat Curry in a Hurry
Instant Pot Texas Beef Chili
Instant Pot Ground Lamb Curry
Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (9)

Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (10)

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

Meet Ashley


Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating


  1. Lea Liston says

    Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (11)
    I make a lot of Indian food but I’m not so confident with the pressure cooker, I have a gas top and I bought it after yet another burnt bean mess happened in a pan that left me weeping…. I am overjoyed with how well it cooks pulses and beans in particular. This recipe was easy to follow and quite minimal ingredients for such a delicious result. I managed to freeze a couple of portions too.. the recipe is a keeper, thank you 🙏🏼


  2. Alisha says

    I want to make this with the onion masala – does anyone know how to adjust the spices? I see that it worked for others!


  3. Amber says

    Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (12)
    This looks BOMB! I want to make it tonight! Quick question; is it okay if I use only red lentils? And is it necessary to soak the lentils overnight or can I soak them for a few hours?


  4. Alisha says

    Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (13)
    The flavor was spot on, but I’m not sure if I did something wrong – it was extremely watery? I used a scant 1/4 cup of the following: split yellow mung beans, red lentils, brown lentils, green lentils, then a smattering of kidney beans. Ashley, any advice?? I followed the recipe as written except cutting the cayenne for the littles, which I wouldn’t think would impact the liquid??


  5. Tianna Tagami says

    How can I make this with frozen onion masala made from your recipe? I’ve only ever made it from scratch, but I have a TON of onion masala in my freezer, and I’d love to cut down prep time on this by using that.


  6. Sonya says

    Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (14)
    This recipe is great!! It freezes and reheats well. Thank you for sharing!


    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Sonya! I’m so glad you liked this recipe!


  7. Fran says

    Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (15)
    This recipe has on the regular rotation at my house for a long time. I love it and appreciate it!


    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Fran, that’s so great to hear! Thanks for letting me know how much you like this recipe 🙂


  8. SMS says

    Can I use your onion masala for this recipe? If so, how much do you recommend?


    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi, yes, you can use onion masala however I haven’t tested the exact amount – my guess would be ½ to ¾ cup. The good thing about this masala is that it’s already cooked, so you can always start out with less and stir in more at the end. Once I try I will be sure to update the post.


      • Sonya says

        Dal Makhani Instant Pot Recipe (16)
        I’ve tried it without the onion and two onion masala frozen pods and it turned out wel.


        • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

          That’s great to know, glad it turned out well with the onion masala!


  9. JP says

    Recipe looks amaze!
    Can I use “Urad Gota” and whole adzuki beans?


    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, JP! I would suggest using a mix of different dals for the best flavor.


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