Instant Pot Black Dal (Dishoom-Inspired Dal Makhani Recipe) (2024)

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You will love in love with this creamy and buttery Instant Pot black dal recipe inspired by the famous signature Dal Makhani from London's Indian restaurant chain Dishoom. Made in a fraction of the time compared to the original (which is cooked for 24 hours in the restaurant), this incredible lentil dish will delight with its complex flavors and heavenly texture. It's gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly.

Instant Pot Black Dal (Dishoom-Inspired Dal Makhani Recipe) (1)


Black dal or Dal Makhani is one of India's most loved dishes and one that is worth mastering. It is originally from the Punjab region and the primary ingredients are whole black lentils - also known as ural dal - butter and cream (sometimes beans are also used).

The dish gets its richness from the use of cream or butter, but it can also be prepared with yogurt, milk or no dairy. The name dal makhani literally means "buttery lentils".

One of the most delicious black dal recipes we've tried comes from London's Dishoom restaurant. Black lentils are slowly cooked in buttery, spiced sauce for almost 24 hours until incredibly rich, thick and creamy. The homemade version featured in Dishoom's cookbook is reduced down to about 4 hours of cooking, which is still quite long for most cooks until you enlist the help of the Instant Pot.

We have adapted Dishoom's recipe for the pressure cooker and simplified a few steps while staying as true to the original as possible. Using our method, you can enjoy this creamy Instant Pot dal in about 1 hour. Plus, it keeps really well in the fridge for 4-5 days and only gets better with time.

Instant Pot Black Dal (Dishoom-Inspired Dal Makhani Recipe) (2)


There are three parts to this simplified dal recipe:

  • Pressure cooking the lentils - this is pretty hands-free and quick with the Instant Pot.
  • Braising the pre-cooked lentils in the spiced buttery sauce - requires more attention as you need to stir the dal frequently while it's cooking down on Saute function. However, this is only 15-20 minutes versus 2-3 hours in the original stovetop method.
  • Final thickening with cream - you have to continue to stir frequently so this last part also requires your presence but only for 5 more minutes.

You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutritional profile for this dish in the recipe below. Here is a handy video showing how to make dal in the Instant Pot.


Black dal Makhani is a nutritious dish full of plant-based protein, fibre and minerals. To achieve a complete protein profile (all essential amino acids), lentils and beans are best paired with grains so you can serve this dal with Basmati or brown rice or chapati or naan bread. You can also try our turmeric rice recipe here.

It can also be served as part of a larger Indian feast alongside other curry dishes. Being so rich, hearty and full of flavor, black dal is always a favorite both with vegetarians and omnivores so it's a great dinner party dish.

Instant Pot Black Dal (Dishoom-Inspired Dal Makhani Recipe) (3)

Instant Pot Black Dal (Dishoom-Inspired Dal Makhani Recipe) (4)

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4.64 from 19 votes

Dal Makhani Instant Pot (Black Dal)

Inspired by the famous black dal at Dishoom restaurant in London, this Instant Pot dal makhani recipe is incredibly rich and creamy yet it takes a fraction of the time of the original. It's nutritious, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly. Serve with rice, chapati or naan bread.

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Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time1 hour hr

Total Time1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 308kcal




  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • ½ medium onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste minced or grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste minced or grated
  • teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste 80 g
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups water


  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves optional
  • 3 tablespoons butter 90 g
  • cup heavy cream


  • Add the dry black dal lentils to a large bowl and fill with cold water. Using your hands, rub the lentils in the water a few times and strain. Fill with clean cold water and repeat, strain again. Rinse the lentils this way 4 times.

Part 1

  • Add the rinsed, drained lentils to the Instant Pot and pour in about 1 litre (4-4.5 cups) of water, add salt and stir. Pop the lid on top, lock and set to Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes at HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and the timer will begin. Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally. Note, the cooking continues during the release at a slower rate.

  • Once the pressure is released, open the lid and strain the pre-cooked lentils. Leave in a sieve.

Part 2

  • Rinse and wipe the inner pot and return to the pressure cooker. Press the Saute function and once the pot is hot, add about 1.5 tablespoons of butter or ghee (25 grams) and onions and cook for 1-2 minutes to soften.

  • Then add the garlic and ginger paste and stir through. Now add the chilli powder and garam masala spices, stir through and add the pre-cooked lentils, tomato paste, and salt. Stir through and cover with cold water, about 3 cups. Stir through really well, making sure the scrape the bottom from any stuck bits.

  • Cook on Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring frequently! The lentils will slow integrated into the cooking broth, thickening it along the way. Some of the water will also evaporate.

Part 3

  • After about 15 minutes, add 3 more tablespoons of butter and fenugreek leaves, if using. Cook on Saute for 5-7 more minutes, stirring frequently once again. Then add the cream and stir for 5 more minutes.



Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 610mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 4mg



KeywordCurry, Gluten-Free, Indian Cuisine, Lentils, Vegan, vegetarian instant pot recipes

Made this recipe?Mention @instantpoteats or tag #instantpoteats!


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Instant Pot Black Dal (Dishoom-Inspired Dal Makhani Recipe) (5)

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Reader Interactions


  1. Flip Harris

    I love the Dishoom book version and felt sure the Instant Pot could speed up the process, and here it is, thank you so much. Last stage bubbling just now and looks and tastes perfect!


  2. Jordan

    Loved!! Added one more tsp of garam Marsala, but followed the directions exactly! Came out perfect and I will be making again!


  3. Hungry for Lentils

    What's the point of using an instant pot if the natural pressure release takes an hour? Bad recipe.


    • Clara

      The recipe came out okay but it seemed very it was missing something. Can't quite work out what though. Edible but boring.


  4. David Patrício ussene



  5. mike

    Will be trying this recipe tomorrow morning. As a vegetarian & Instant Pot fan, wanted to say how much I LOVE this website. A few years ago learned how to make basic kitchari with the Instant Pot, but now simple cooking ideas has greatly expanded


  6. melanie

    I made this as a hybrid of the Dishoom cookbook recipe and the instant pot recipe. I followed your instructions for part 1 to save some time, and then transferred the lentils to the stovetop to finish. Turned out beautifully!


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Thanks so much 🙂


  7. Able

    Absolutely top notch loved it never made Dahl before but will certainly be making it again.


    • Ann Fabrizio

      Thank you!


  8. Jay Williams

    Really delicious, thank you!

    I don’t have any cream in so I used full fat Greek yogurt in its place; otherwise followed the recipe. I found it needed more time to simmer to get the right consistency but I had a good album to listen to which made the time a pleasure.

    I will definitely make it again! I very much appreciate the recipe, thanks again.


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Thanks, Jay 🙂


  9. Jackie

    I have just made this today, it’s stunning. I have eaten it in Dishoom, and cooked it from the Dishoom cookbook and this is every it as delicious. I had to simmer for bout 25-30 mins to get the water absorbed, but am so glad I have found it. Thank you


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Thanks, Jackie. I love this recipe too because of the original dish. I remember looking at the cookbook recipe and it takes much much longer, so I was happy to develop the Instant Pot version. Just as good!


  10. Joan Macpherson

    I made it exactly as you suggested and loved it, ( I had only friends word that Dishoom ‘s was fabulous,) ..It is a good and it freezes well. I had it in Dishoom Covent Garden on Wednesday and I could not tell the difference. I now will try it with coconut oil, coconut cream and yogurt. Thanks for your recipe.
    I live in Scotland and have wanted to go to Dishoom’s in Edinburgh for ages unfortunately the day I booked the lift was out of order and my daughter in law told me three flights of steep stairs was too much for my knackered knees.


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Many thanks, glad you loved it AND that it tasted so similar to the original dish.


  11. Tom C

    Would soaking the urad dal overnight contribute anything or is that simply unnecessary in this preparation?
    Thank you--great to include this recipe.
    (PS I think you mean urad not Ural in Step 1 line 1.)


  12. Melinda T.

    This looks sooooo yummy! Planning to make it sometime in the next week or so. One question: black lentils may be difficult to find in my area, although I think there is a store that carries them. If I can't find them, though, can you advise on substituting maybe red lentils, or French green lentils? Would the cooking time be the same?

    Thank you!


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Hey Melinda, you can substitute with either of those. I find that red and green lentils take just a little bit less time to cook, so I would reduce the Part 1 cooking time to 3 minutes for red and 4 minutes for green. The rest is the same.


  13. Martina OReilly

    We had Black Dal in Dishoom Edinburgh last Saturday night. I thought it was one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted. I desperately wanted to try it out myself but the thought of a pan bubbling for 5 hours in high summer turned me off. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this recipe. It is bang on 100% Absolutely delicious. Measurements and timings are perfect. I reduced cream and butter slightly but it did not detract from the finished dish. Thank you.


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Thanks, Martina. I am so glad that you thought it was close to the original, or at least equally delicious. We appreciate your kind feedback!


  14. Sonal

    How do I modify the recipe qty, time, etc with pre-cooked beans?


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Skin Part 1 and follow the rest of the instructions/ingredients 🙂


  15. Monisha

    I cooked the daal for 5 minutes then natural release. They were overcooked


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Was it soaked lentils or unsoaked? That can affect how cooked they come out.


  16. Chantae

    Thank you! I had this in London and it was easily my favourite restaurant. I loved this recipe. For my personal taste, the additional butter at the end was not necessary.


  17. Sandra Murphy

    How much yogurt should be used instead of the heavy cream?


    • Instant Pot Eats

      The same amount 🙂


  18. Katherine Stansfield

    I made this and it was wonderful. I had this at an Indian wedding many years ago and never found out what it was. Now I know it was dal malhini. I made it with olive oil spread and plantlea double cream and although maybe not quite as nice as the butter version or was still fantastic. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I shall be making it regularly.


  19. Rebecca

    This is great! I love the black dal at Dishoom and this is a brilliant homemade version.


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Thanks, Rebecca.


  20. Pierre de Villers

    Tastes great! Followed the recipe except that I used 18% cream because that is what I have in my fridge :). Will make this again for sure, it is worth the bit of extra time it takes to prepare.


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Thanks, Pierre. Glad you enjoyed it!


  21. Helen

    Is there any healthier substitutes you can use for the cream and butter or any non dairy alternative?


    • Instant Pot Eats

      The authentic version calls for those two ingredients but you can use a dairy-free butter alternative or a lighter type of butter, and light cream would also help to cut down on calories here. You could add coconut cream or milk instead of dairy one but the flavor will be a little more tropical/Sri Lankan, which is still super nice so you might want to try that instead.


  22. Brenda Fincke

    Hi I've made this before and it is really tasty, but I'm not sure if I am getting the correct consistency.

    Please clarify this part:
    "stir through and add the pre-cooked lentils, tomato paste, butter and salt. "
    Which butter is this because I used 1.5 T of butter that was mentioned in the ingredients part of the recipe when I cooked the onions. Am I to add more here, if so how much?
    Also when instructed to "Stir through and cover with cold water, about 3 cups," is that correct, because the ingredients say to add just one cup of water?


    • Instant Pot Eats

      Hey Brenda,

      I clarified which Part of the ingredients to use through the recipes. Butter - that was mentioned twice, you're right. In that part of cooking just 1.5 tbsp of butter you use to saute the onions. 3 cups of water is correct, I think that's what it says in Ingredients as well. Not sure where you saw 1 cup but I will double-check.

      Consistency-wise - are you straining the pre-cooked lentils before returning them back to the pot? Another reason, you may just need to cook on Saute uncovered for a little longer to evaporate a bit more liquid if it feels too thin. It's also fine to reduce the water to 2 or 2.5 cups if you prefer it thicker.

      Hope it helps!


Leave a Reply

Instant Pot Black Dal (Dishoom-Inspired Dal Makhani Recipe) (2024)


What is the difference between urad dal and black urad dal? ›

Urad: Urad typically refers to the whole black gram lentil with its skin intact. It is used to make dishes like dal makhani, where the lentils are cooked whole for a rich and creamy texture. Urad Dal: Urad Dal refers to the split and hulled version of the black gram lentil.

How to enhance dal makhani taste? ›

Add fresh cream and garam masala powder let it simmer for another five minutes. Finish off with a couple of pinch of Kasoori methi powdered. Serve hot with Naan or Paraatha. Tip: Replacing the tomatoes with 4 tablespoons of thick tomato paste will enhance the taste and colour of the dish manifold.

Which dal is Dal Makhni made of? ›

Dal makhani (pronounced [daːl ˈmək. kʰə.ni]) is a dish originating in Punjab region. A relatively modern variation of traditional lentil dishes, it is made with urad dal (black lentils) and other pulses, and includes butter and cream (makhani is a Punjabi word for butter).

What is black dal made of? ›

Black dal typically uses urad dal sabut (whole black lentil), but here I've used precooked puy lentils to speed up the cooking time. Also, black dal normally uses a large amount of cream, but to get the creamy texture I've pureed some of the lentils, so what you end up with is an easy, nutritious and 'creamy' dish!

What are the side effects of black urad dal? ›

Contraindications: While urad dal or black gram is a rich source of protein, vitamins and various minerals, it is not advised for those suffering from high levels of uric acid. It may prevent formation of kidney stones but at the same time, it can calcify the stones that were already present.

Do you need to soak urad dal before cooking? ›


Rich and nutty, black gram or whole urid lentils make lavish dals with depth such as restaurant favourite Dal Makhani. They do need soaking overnight before cooking.

How do you reduce bitterness in dal makhani? ›

The basic and simplest thing to reduce bitterness caused by burnt masala is to add some dairy product like milk cream or some milk or curd and little bit of sugar…..

Why does my dal makhani taste bitter? ›

When the water starts boiling, it's very important to remove the scum that accumulates at the top — if you don't do this your daal may taste slightly odd and a bit bitter.

What is the difference between dal and dal makhani? ›

dal makhani uses a darker lentils brown and lack lentils, and is cooked with a heavy dose of butter making it thick and creamy, rajma (kidney beans are sometimes added to it as well). It is a rich Punjabi Veg Delicacy. Dal fry involves the lentils being fried before stewing them.

Why is rajma added to dal makhani? ›

So the addition of a small quantity or Rajma/ Kidney beans will give the makhani gravy its rich texture and also a little bit of colour. Both the Kidney beans and urad dal cook with ginger, tomatoes and chilli giving it plenty of time and injecting lots of flavour.

Which dal has the highest protein? ›

Lentils (dal) vary in their protein content, but some of the dals that are relatively high in protein include black gram (urad dal), chickpeas (chana dal), and green gram (moong dal). Among these, black gram typically has one of the highest protein contents, with around 25 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked dal.

Why do you remove foam when cooking dal? ›

Saponins are naturally occurring compounds found in various plant foods, including dals. Social media is nowadays full of chatter about how soaked pulses or cooked dals, which have a foamy layer on top, called saponins, may be affecting your health if consumed regularly.

Is black dal the same as black lentils? ›

Black lentils and urad dal are NOT the same and belong to different botanical species. Black lentils are part of the lentils family (Lens culinaris), like brown, green, or red lentils, and they are much smaller than urad dal. Urad dal, often used in Indian and Asian cooking, is a bean, part of the Vigna family.

What is the English name for black dal? ›

Introduction: Urad dal, scientifically called Vigna mungo, is a lentil most commonly used in South Indian households. It is also called Urd bean, Urad bean, Black lentil, Black matpe bean, and Mungo bean in English, and Urad dal in Hindi.

Does black dal cause gas? ›

Be it whole or split, urad dal or black gram is said to be one of the heaviest dals one can ever have. It causes a lot of gas when consumed and takes a long time to digest. Thus, it is said that those who have a weak digestion system should not consume it.

Which is best, black or white urad dal? ›

As the name suggests, it is white in color, has a lighter taste than black urad dal and a rich flavour. White Urad Dal is a great source of fiber, which helps promote easier digestion, and get rid of bowel-related problems like constipation. It provides energy to the body and is rich in various nutrients.

Which type of urad dal is best? ›

Black gram split (urad dal) and whole urad dal have tremendous nutritional value. Urad dal is a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, iron, and calcium. In addition, whole urad has dietary fibre, whereas urad dal (split urad) does not contain fibre.

What is black urad dal called in English? ›

Black Gram Lentils, Split and skinned – Urad Dal.

What is the other name of black urad dal? ›

Vigna mungo, also known as black gram, urad bean, urid bean, matimah, matikolai, mash kalai, maas/kalo daal, uzhunnu parippu, ulundu parippu, minapa pappu, uddu, or black matpe, is a bean grown in South Asia. Like its relative, the mung bean, it has been reclassified from the Phaseolus to the Vigna genus.


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