Enjoy this delicious & healthy Whole Masoor Dal, also known as Brown Lentils Curry, made in the Instant Pot or Stovetop Pressure Cooker. Vegan & Gluten Free.

whole masoor dal in a small pot and in two bowls with rice
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Whole Masoor Dal is also popularly known as Brown Lentils or Sabut Masoor ki Dal. These are basically whole red lentils which are popular all over the world.

We make this Whole Masoor Dal very often for dinner. It goes perfectly with rice, naan or roti/paratha. This dal can be made in the instant pot or a stovetop pressure cooker. I love the convenience of making lentils in a pressure cooker, as they cook so quickly and are almost hands free.

If you are new to the instant pot, check out this quick setup guide.

Watch How to Make Whole Masoor Dal

What are lentils?

Lentils, also known as Dal or Dhal are a mini legumes. They are a good source of protein, fiber and minerals.

There are many varieties of lentils such as yellow (moong and toor), green (moong), red (masoor), brown (whole masoor) and black (urad) lentils.

Whole Masoor Dal / Brown Lentil Nutrition

These lentils are a rich source of dietary fiber and 11 grams of protein. They contain nine essential amino acids, which makes them a popular source of protein for a plant based diet.

Brown lentils hold their shape well while cooking. After cooking, brown lentils have a wonderful creamy texture. Brown lentils are also easy to cook and make a great main dish such as a curry, stews or soup.

How to make Whole Masoor Dal in Instant Pot?

Let’s start with gathering the ingredients. I use brown lentils, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chili pepper and spices to make the dal.

Ingredients for sabut Masoor Dal
  1. Rinse the brown lentils in water and chop the ingredients. You do not need to soak these lentils.
  2. Heat the instant pot in Sauté mode and add oil to it.
  3. Then add cumin seeds, onions, ginger and garlic. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Then add tomatoes and spices. Stir and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  5. Now we are ready to add the lentils and water. Then pressure cook for 12 minutes at high pressure.
  6. After the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally. If you are in a hurry, you can also release pressure manually 10 minutes after the instant pot beeps.
Whole Masoor Dal in Instant Pot Step 1 Sauté onions
Whole Masoor Dal in Instant Pot Step 3 add rinsed brown lentils
Whole Masoor Dal in Instant Pot Step 2 add tomatoes and spices
Whole Masoor Dal in Instant Pot Step 4 Add water and stir

Stir in the lime juice and garnish with cilantro.

Oh…the lentils are perfectly cooked and so creamy!

whole masoor dal in a ladle

How to make Whole Masoor Dal in Stovetop Pressure Cooker?

Traditionally, lentils were first boiled in a pressure cooker and then mixed with tempering (tadka) made in a fry pan. However this recipe makes Whole Masoor Dal as a one-pot recipe.

Follow the same steps as above. In the stovetop pressure cooker, cook for 3-4 whistles (about 12 minutes) and let the pressure release naturally.

Cooked masoor dal in instant pot

Enjoy Whole Masoor Dal with Basmati Rice, Roti/Paratha or Naan.

We like to pair Masoor Dal with a vegetable stir fry along with the rice on the side. Some options for stir fry vegetables that would go well with this dal – Aloo Gobi, Bhindi Masala (Okra) or Cabbage Peas.

Masoor Dal made in instant pot served in a bowl along with onions, tomatoes

You will love this Brown Lentil Curry:

√ It is easy to make and healthy

√ Uses simple ingredients that you will have in your pantry.

√ Vegan and Gluten free

√ Creamy and delicious, perfect to serve over rice!

Check out more lentil recipes I have posted in the past:

4.80 from 70 votes

Whole Masoor Dal Recipe (Brown Lentils Curry)

Enjoy this delicious & healthy Whole Masoor Dal, also known as Brown Lentils Curry, made in the Instant Pot or Stovetop Pressure Cooker. Vegan & Gluten Free.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4




  • Start the pressure cooker in sauté mode and let it heat. Add oil and cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • When the cumin seeds change color, add green chili, onions, ginger and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes until the onions become golden brown while stirring frequently.
  • Add tomato and spices. Stir and sauté for another 2 minutes. 
  • Add the lentils, water and stir well. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position.
  • Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 12 mins. After the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. 
  • Open the pot. Add the lime juice and stir the dal. 
  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve dal with roti, naan or rice. 

For stovetop pressure cooker

  • Follow the same steps as above. Cook for 3-4 whistles (about 12 minutes) and let the pressure release naturally.

For stovetop in a pan

  • Follow the same steps until adding the lentis, and water. Add 1/2 cup more water. Cook on stovetop partly covered for 30-35 minutes until the lentils are cooked and soft. You might have to add more water as it evaporates in the pan.



Make it less spicy: Skip the green chili and reduce red chili powder. 
Which Green chili to use? I typically use Thai, Birdeye or Serrano Chili Pepper in my recipes. Don’t forget to adjust to your taste. 
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.


Calories: 237kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 13gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 640mgPotassium: 614mgFiber: 16gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 430IUVitamin C: 13.8mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 4.3mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

You May Also Like

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.
4.80 from 70 votes (47 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I cooked for the first time and it turned out to be most delicious lentil that i ever made. Thank you for the easiest recipe . Much love , God bless you

  2. Fantastic. I doubled the recipe, used jalapeño for the chilies, hot paprika for the chili powder and cooked a full lb of lentils. I don’t have an IP but have a ninja foodi and followed the cook time in the booklet for lentils. 5 minute pressure cook on LO with 10 minute natural release followed by a quick release. Worked perfectly. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mike – That’s awesome to hear! I’m glad the Ninja Foodi method worked well for you. Enjoy your flavorful meal!

  3. This was DELICIOUS! We were trying to use up the odds and ends in the pantry and had a forgotten bag of lentils that were begging for dal. This was so easy and tasty. We threw in some baby spinach at the end, topped with greek yogurt, and wiped the dishes clean with naan. A winner!

  4. So flavorful and easy. I used a little cayenne powder in place of red chili powder/green chili and had heavy hand with the other spices. The lime at the end was perfect (skipped the cilantro because I was out of that). Served over rice. This was my first time making lentils in my IP—what a great recipe to start with! Thank you

  5. I love this recipe, but cooking for my young grandchildren, I left the chili’s out. they liked it well enough to ask for seconds. a bit of rice, some dahl, Palau paneer with homemade paneer made for a delicious trip to a land far away from Alaska. your recipes are a hit

  6. I made it just as the recipe states except I used 1 jalapeño without the seeds. It is very good, but does have a little too much “nutmeg” type flavor for me. I’ll still definitely try again and adjust the spices.

    1. Hi Melanie – Thanks for sharing your feedback. I am not sure what would have given the nutmeg-like flavor; maybe the cumin seeds? Do try adjusting any spices. I hope you enjoy it again.

  7. This is the most delicious brown lentil recipe I have ever made. The red lentil version of this is the most delicious red lentil recipe I’ve ever made. I’m going to be going through this website cooking everything here!!