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Dal Palak in Instant Pot

Geetha Priyanka
Dal Palak – a simple one-pot curry made with spinach, red lentils and spices. This healthy, protein and iron-rich curry go well with rice. The simple vegan and gluten-free spinach lentil curry made in Instant Pot makes a quick and easy dish that gets ready in 20 minutes.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Curries, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 62 kcal


1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml

  • 1.5 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • few Curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Ginger chopped
  • 2 tsp Garlic chopped
  • 1 cup (113 gms) Onion 1 large, chopped
  • 3-4 Green chillies chopped
  • 1 cup (161 gms) Tomato 2 medium, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 3 cups (175 gms) Spinach
  • 1/2 cup (112 gms) Red Lentils (masoor dal)
  • 2 cups Water
  • juice from 1/2 Lime
  • as required Salt


  • Switch on the Instant Pot and turn to sauté mode ON.
  • Add oil, once hot add mustard, cumin. Stir and fry for few seconds and let the mustard splutter for few seconds.
  • Now add curry leaves, asafoetida and saute for few seconds.
  • Add onion followed by ginger, garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes or until the onion starts to soften.
  • Stir in turmeric.
  • Add tomatoes, sauté and cook for 1-2 minutes or just until tomatoes start to soften.
  • Now add spinach, sauté and cook for a minute.
  • CANCEL the sauté mode.
  • Add lentils, water and mix well.
  • Close the pot with lid, ensure the pressure release valve is turned to the SEALING position.
  • Select pressure cook mode, HIGH for 5 minutes. Once finished, let the pressure release naturally (NPR).
  • Turn pressure valve to VENTING position and wait until the FLOAT VALVE goes down completely. Take the lid off the pan, add lemon juice, salt and mix until dal is well mashed.
  • Enjoy piping hot palak dal with steamed rice.



Add more or less chillies to suit your preferred spice levels. I’ve used medium hot variety green chillies.
You may swap red chillies or red chilli powder for green chillies.
There is no specific amount or ratio of lentils and spinach in this recipe. Add more or less spinach as per your likings.
I’ve used baby spinach that doesn’t really need to be chopped. If you use regular spinach chop them roughly.
Use a wooden spoon to turn the pressure valve to a venting position to prevent hurting your fingers.
If you want your dal to be of smooth texture or if you don't like spinach to appear leafy then blend curry with a hand blender until it reaches your desired texture. However, the colour of the curry may change to light green.
Once the timer goes off, Instant Pot is automatically set to KEEP WARM mode. As the name indicates it keeps the curry warm until you cancel the program and ready to serve.
Some people may feel dal palak made in IP is not as flavourful as the dal made with the traditional method. It is because not all the flavours and aroma are retained as they tend to escape with the release of pressure. You may add extra tadka at the beginning to compensate. Alternatively, do tadka in a small pan at the end and add it to dal. To do tadka, heat oil in a small pan, once hot add mustard, cumin, curry leaves and asafoetida. This is NOT a must but an optional step and personal choice. My family just love this curry as is and I don't do extra tadka at all. 


Calories: 62kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 127mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 70IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword dal palak, Indian healthy curry, instant pot Indian recipes, instant pot vegetarian recipes, palak dal, palakura pappu, spinach and lentil curry
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