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3.72 from 7 votes

Easy Dal Tadka Instant Pot Recipe

Dal Tadka is comfort food from Indian kitchen. Super delicious and so easy to make in Instant Pot. Perfect for meal prep & easy meal planning. It is Gluten-free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Dal Fry Recipe, Dal Tadka Instant Pot, Dal Tadka Recipe
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 201kcal
Author: simplyvegetarian777


  • Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Stirring Spoon,
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Kitchen Colander
  • Instant Pot 6 quart or Mealthy Multipot
  • Inner Pot
  • mixing bowl
  • Kitchen Spatula
  • Small Frying Pan


Dal Ingredients

Tadka Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 small pinch Asafetida optional
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1/4 cup Red Onions finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder




      Preparing the Dal Ingredients for cooking in Instant Pot

      • First of all place Toor Dal in a Mixing Bowl and wash it 3 times in the clean room temperature water. Soak it in 1 cup water till ready to be used.
      • Now wash all the fresh ingredients in a Colander. Then finely chop onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green chili and cilantro. Set aside

      Cooking Dal Fry fresh ingredients on Saute Mode first

      • Place the Inner Pot inside the Instant Pot. Press the SAUTE MODE and set on high.
      • Once the screen shows HOT, add Ghee (cooking oil for vegan) inside. Wait for 5 seconds and then add Cumin seeds to it and let crackle for 15-20 seconds. 
      • Now add finely chopped onions, ginger, garlic, & green chili. Saute for 5-7 minutes till it gets lightly browned. Scrape the bottom if the ingredients stick to the bottom of the pan. 
      • Further add finely chopped tomatoes to it. Also add Coriander powder, Turmeric powder, Red chili powder, Salt & Garam Masala.
      • Give it a good stir and mix well with Kitchen Stirring Spoon. Cancel the Saute Mode. 
      • Drain the water from the soaked dal. Add dal to the pot along with water. Give it a good stir and mix all the ingredients well. Don't forget to scrape the bottom of the pot.

      Cooking Dal Tadka on Pressure Cook Mode in Instant Pot

      • Now place the lid of the instant pot and lock it. PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 4 minutes for slightly grainy dal. If you like more creamy texture, then pressure cook for 6 minutes. Follow NPR (natural pressure release). Now open the lid and give a good stir. Your Toor Dal is ready. Meanwhile prepare TADKA.

      Preparing Tadka for Dal Tadka

      • Take a Small Frying Pan and heat Ghee in it. Now lower the heat to medium and add Asafetida, Dry Red Chilies & Cumin seeds to it. Once the cumin seeds start crackling, add finely chopped onions to it. Saute for about 8-10 minutes till they turn golden brown. Further add finely chopped tomatoes and red chili powder to it. Saute for 2-3 minutes till tomatoes are nicely cooked. Tadka is ready. 

      Serving Dal Tadka

      • Now add this Tadka to the Cooked Dal. Further add chopped cilantro leaves. Mix well. Squeeze some lemon juice on top. Dal Tadka or Dal Fry is ready. 
      • Serve it with some perfefctly cooked Basmati HOT RICE that goes so well with the dal. Add some pickles and cut salad on the side.


      • Take a heavy bottom pan and heat ghee in it. Lower the heat to medium and then follow the same instructions of Saute mode from the main recipe above.
      • Then add Dal and about 4 cups of water to the pot. Bring it to a boil. Then cook on simmer till done, for about 15-20 minutes depending upon the consistency you like. Make Tadka as described above and add to the dal. Ta-da it is ready!



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      What is Dal Tadka?

      Dal is naturally vegan unless topped with Ghee tempering. It is also Gluten-free. 
      Dal in this case is referred for TOOR DAL or ARHAR DAL which is cooked in instant pot here with sauteed onions, tomatoes, ginger and green chili along with some basic Indian Spices.

      What is Tadka?

      Most of the time Tadka is the simple tempering prepared separately for the dal. You heat ghee (oil for vegan) in a small pan and then add hing (asafetida), cumin seeds, dry red chilies, and red chili powder to it. Sizzle it a bit and then add to the PRESSURE-COOKED DAL.

      Why to make DAL TADKA at home?

      • You can control the ghee/oil and spices to your liking.
      • Gluten-free recipe that is vegetarian but can be easily made VEGAN.
      • Add some vegetables like spinach or other greens and add to the nutritional benefits.
      • It is perfect as a part of meal prep as can be refrigerated well. Also it freezes well.
      • This Dal comes together easily. You can have your meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. 
      • It makes a great busy weekday meal. Easy to pack for lunch box.
      • You can eat it as is like a soup. I do it all the time.

      What is the difference between Dal Tadka and Dal Fry?

      In layman's language, it is all same. Dal Tadka or Dal Fry is basically cooked Toor Dal or Arhar Dal and mixed with a heavy tempering of onion tomato and spice tadka. It is called by different names in different parts. It is a very popular dal in North India. Also the quantity of onions and tomatoes vary from home to home. Some folks like more onions and others may like more tomatoes. You can totally personalize it your way.

      Is Dal Tadka Freezer friendly?

      Yes it is freezer friendly. Pack in individual portions in freezer friendly boxes/bags and freeze for 4-6 months. When ready to eat, take out, thaw and reheat wither on gas top or microwave. Eat.

      What is the ratio of Toor Dal and Water for cooking?

      For Pressure cooking, the best ratio is 1:3 where Dal is 1 part and water is 3 parts. You can always add a bit of water more later if you like dal more soupy. 
      For Gas Top cooking, use 1:4 ratio.

      Do I need to soak the Toor Dal before cooking?

      In traditional Indian cooking, soaking dal is advised and more so for whole dals. When using split dals like toor dal, although soaking helps in the digestion of dal but if you do not have time, you can skip it. Or soak for 20 minutes till ready to cook. In this recipe, I soaked the dal for 15-20 minutes max till I prepped the fresh ingredients and sauteed. 

      How to store the left-over Dal Tadka?

      This Tadka Dal is refrigerator friendly. Store the leftovers in air-tight box and refrigerate.

      Some other Instant Pot Dal Recipes - 

      Chana Masala (made with Chickpeas), Rajma Masala (made with Red Kidney Beans), Lobiya Masala (made with Black eye peas), Sabut Masoor (made with whole brown lentils), Lal Masoor (made with split red lentils), Pumpkin dal (made with pumpkin and chana dal), Dal Makhani & Punjabi dhaba dal (made with mix of whole black beluga lentils, red kidney beans) are some of the examples of the dals made in Indian homes.

      What are the Ingredients of Dal Tadka Instant Pot Recipe?

      Toor Dal - Also known as Arhar Dal or Split Yellow Pigeon Peas, this dal is easily available in all your local Indian Grocery stores. Or you can order from amazon. It is a must have pantry item for the Indian cuisine lovers.
      Ghee - Ghee lends to the rich flavor profile of the dal. In case you are vegan, you can use any cooking oil of your choice.
      Fresh Ingredients - Onions, Tomatoes, Green Chilies (Thai or Serrano), Garlic, Ginger, Cilantro and Lemon Juice.
      Spices - Asafetida (optional), Cumin seeds, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder, Red chili powder, Garam Masala, & Dry Red Chilies (optional).


      Instant Pot
      Inner Pot
      Measuring Cups & Spoons
      Kitchen Ladle
      Chopping Board & Knife
      Mixing Bowl
      Small Frying Pan
      Kitchen Stirring Spoon
      Kitchen Colander


      Serving: 4people | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 362IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg