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A bowl of dal tadka is on the white table.
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5 from 10 votes

Dal Tadka Instant Pot

Dal fry or dal tadka is typically made using Toor dal (Yellow lentils), but you can always substitute that with other options like Masoor Dal or Moong dal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan
Allergen: Dairy free, Gluten free
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 95kcal



  • Start the instant pot in saute mode and drizzle a couple of teaspoons of oil.
  • As the oil heats up, add the mustard seeds, and after a few seconds add chopped or minced garlic and ginger.
    ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, 2 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
  • Once the mustard seeds start to sizzle and garlic changes color, add onions, ginger, green chilies, and saute for 2 minutes.
    1 onion chopped, 2 green chilies
  • Add tomatoes, spices(turmeric, coriander powder, chili powder) and stir them well.
    1 tomato or use 1 tablespoon tomato paste, ½ teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, ½ teaspoon coriander powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Follow it up with Toor dal (pigeon pea lentil) and three cups of water for cooking. Stir it all up.
    1 cup pigeon pea lentil or Toor dal
  • Press ‘Cancel’ on the Instant Pot and close the lid with a vent in the sealing position.
  • Change the instant pot setting to ‘manual’ or ‘pressure cook’ mode at high pressure for 6 mins.
  • When the instant pot beeps, wait for natural pressure release. When the lid pin drops down open the instant pot lid.
  • Place a pan over medium flame and add a few teaspoons of oil. when oil heats up add cumin seeds and saute for 10 seconds. Then add Kasuri methi and hing (optional) and switch off the flame. Add this tadka to the dal.
    ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon Fenugreek leaves or Kasuri methi, 1 red chili
  • Garnish with cilantro, then serve with rice or roti.


  • Soak the toor dal (split pigeon peas) for at least 30 minutes.
  • Traditionally for tadka, it is common to use ghee in the traditional method. However, using oil or vegan ghee for tadka is just fine. There is no noticeable difference.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and lemon juice for additional flavor/taste.
  • You may substitute moong dal and masoor dal(red lentils) for toor dal. It will have a slightly different taste and color though.
  • The addition of vegan ghee at the end is optional but it enhances the taste.
  • Dal can have thick or runny consistency, choose your favorite texture and add water accordingly.
  • For an authentic taste, add curry leaves to tadka at the end.
Check above under how to make this for step by step method with pictures.


Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 371IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg