Madras Lentils is a delicious & simple Recipe. It’s a classic Lentil recipe from Northern India. Dal goes well with Rice, Roti, and Naan. Gas Top Pressure cooker method is also given.
Simple & Easy Madras Lentils Recipe in Instant Pot
Dal Maharani Recipe is one of my favorite recipes to make over the weekend. It is warm and comforting and just perfect for that indulging meal that one craves over the weekend.
It is an amazingly light and still finger licking delicious recipe.
This Easy Madras Lentils Recipe is much Lighter since
- It has no cream or ghee either. I have added the option of adding cream to the recipe if you want to make it more indulging.
- I have used Olive oil in the recipe to keep it lighter.
Believe me, you will love it equally with these subtle changes.
Can I make this Dal without Onion & Garlic?
Yes absolutely. Just adjust the spices in the recipe and this is perfectly well done without onion and garlic too.
Why will somebody cook a dal or curry without onion and garlic?
I get asked this question a lot, especially by my readers who are not familiar with Indian culture. Here are a few reasons that many communities avoid using onion & garlic in their cooking. These practices can be a choice on a daily basis or seasonal.
⇒ The choice is made because of their religious beliefs.
⇒ Some communities practice this no onion and no garlic method during the holy days of fasting. Just like many Christians give up their fav foods during the Lent period in March, similarly, many Hindus give up onion & garlic during fasting days or Navratri days.
⇒ Onion can get very expensive when not in season. Many families opt to cook without these 2 ingredients often during that time.
⇒ I personally think that all the recipes do not require onion and garlic in it. Have you ever noticed that when we are adding onion & garlic to a recipe, we are using more oil than required for cooking? Since it needs sauteeing and browning these ingredients hence more oil. Skipping these 2 ingredients 1-2 times a week in cooking can lead to a lighter meal.
What are the other names for Madras Lentils?
Dal Maharani is popularly known as Mah ki Dal or Ma ki Dal in Northern India. It is a home cook’s recipe that can vary from home to home. Though the main ingredients remain the same but the quantities and style of cooking can differ.
The Dal Makhani is a close relative of Dal Maharani. Where Dal Maharani is a homemakers recipe, Dal Makhani is restaurant style and is loaded with butter and cream.
Madras Lentils or Costco style Lentils or Trader Joe’s Lentils or Tasty Byte Lentils are similar recipes that are more Americanized. Dal Maharani is what we call it in India. If you like Madras Lentils from Costco or Trader Joe’s then do try this recipe. It is Lighter and still very delicious. You may add some heavy cream to it towards the end to make it more creamy.
Where can you find the Beans and other spices for this Madras Lentils recipe?
♦ Chana Dal or Split Bengal gram and Red Kidney Beans are easily available these days in local stores in America. You can either find it under International Isle or Asian Isle of the store.
♦ The best bet is your LOCAL INDIAN STORE. If your town or city has one local Indian store or Patel Brothers, then you will find all the ingredients under one roof there.
♦ Or you can order everything from amazon.com and make this recipe many times in those ingredients. By ordering from our amazon links, you won’t pay anything extra but would help us earn a small commission to run this blog.
Main Ingredients used in Madras Lentils
URAD DAL WHOLE
CHANA DAL SPLIT
RED KIDNEY BEANS OR RAJMA
INDIAN SPICES KIT
6 quart INSTANT POT
I have compiled Instant Pot and traditional gas stop pressure cooker recipe, for your convenience here. My recipe is cooked in 6 quart Instant Pot but it can be made in 3 quart IP too.
The storage and other Notes on Dal Maharani Madras Lentils
♣ It can store well in the freezer.
♣ This dal can be made in bulk and can be refrigerated for a week easily.
♣ It is fully packed with good fiber and protein.
♣ Always soak the dal before cooking for better digestion.
♣ This dal goes very well with Rice, Naan, and Roti.
♣ You may eat it as a Lentil soup/stew too and serve with pita.
Some more Vegetarian Dal Recipes from simplyvegetarian777 –
Some Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes from simplyvegetarian777 –
Here is how to make Dal Maharani Madras Lentils in Instant Pot and Gas Top in a Pressure Cooker
Madras Lentils in Instant Pot & Gas Top Pressure Cooker
- 1&1/2 cups Whole Urad Dal or Black Gram Lentils
- 1/4 cup Rajma / Red Kidney Beans
- 1/4 cup Chana Dal / Split Bengal Gram
- 1 medium or 1/2 cup Red Onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 3 medium or 1 cup Tomatoes Chopped fine
- 1-2 Green Chili chopped fine
- 1 tsp Ginger chopped fine
- 6-7 cups Water for Instant Pot and 8 cups water for Pressure cooker
- 1/2 cup Yogurt or Heavy Cream as desired or skip completely.
Oils & Spices
- 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil Use Ghee if you want
- 1 Bay Leaf dry
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1 small piece Cinnamon Stick
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Red Chili Whole Dry
- 1 tbsp Coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Red Chili powder use less for mild dal and more for spicier dal
- 1&1/2 to 2 tsp Garam Masala use as per your taste
- To taste or 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Cilantro / Coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp Butter if want richer dal
Preparing & Soaking the Beans
- Wash the urad, red kidney beans, and chana dal thoroughly. Soak them in 4 cups clean water for 4-6 hrs. If you can soak them overnight then that is the best. When ready to cook, drain the soaked dals and set aside.
Cooking in Instant Pot
- Place inner pot inside the Instant Pot and plug it in. Press SAUTE MODE and set on HIGH for 10 minutes. Once the screen displays HOT, add olive oil to the inner pot. After 5 seconds add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon stick, and whole red chili. Saute for few seconds. Once the cumin seeds crackle, lower the heat and add tomatoes, green chilies, and ginger to it.
- Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat and then add all the spices as mentioned above and cook (covered with a glass lid) further for 5 more minutes, till the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Now add the soaked beans plus 6 cups water to the instant pot. Give a good stir. Cancel the SAUTE MODE.
PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL MODE
- Place the lid of the Instant Pot. Set the floating valve to SEALING. Press the MANUAL / PRESSURE COOK MODE and set for 40 minutes on HIGH/MORE.
- After the timer beeps, follow NPR (natural pressure release). Once the safety valve drops down, open the lid carefully. Give a good stir and mash the cooked beans a little with ladle or potato masher. Add whipped yogurt or heavy cream at this point. Stir. Check the taste for Salt & Garam Masala. Adjust accordingly. Add little more of olive oil on the top if desired.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice and naan.
Cooking in Gas Top Pressure Cooker Method
- Take the Pressure cooker and heat oil in it on the medium-high heat. Once hot, lower the heat to medium and add cumin seeds to it. Add bay leaf, black cardamom, whole red chili, and cinnamon stick to the oil. Once the cumin seeds crackle, lower the heat and add tomatoes, green chilies, and ginger to it.
- Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat and then add all the spices as mentioned above and cook (covered with a glass lid) further for 5 more minutes, till the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Now add the soaked beans plus 8 cups water to the cooker. Give a good stir. CLose the lid of the pressure cooker. Put the weight on and let it cook on high heat.
- As the weight blows off for the first time, lower the weight and lower the heat to simmer. Let it cook for 35-40 minutes. After 30 minutes, close the heat. When the safety valve drops down, open the lid carefully. Add whipped yogurt or heavy cream at this point. Mix well. Check for salt and garam masala and adjust if required more. Mash the dal with the back of your ladle or potato masher few times. It will add bulk and creaminess to the dal.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice and naan.
I am sure you will be trying these Madras Lentils or Dal Maharani soon and enjoy a delicious meal. Keep me posted if you try it and please post your feedback under the comments section.
Can’t make it now? PIN MADRAS LENTILS FOR LATER.
In my Kitchen, you will always Eat Happy & Stay Happy!