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
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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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I am a USA-raised white girl that married a punjabi husband. I am so happy to be able to make (finally) delicious Indian food for our family. Thank you for all the amazing recipes! I always recommend your site as a go-to.

  2. This is hands down the most delicious, restaurant-level Indian food recipe I’ve ever made at home. The first time I made it, I doubled the batch but forgot to double the water, and when we made the “proper” way, it tasted a little mild by comparison so we’ve stuck with doubling the spices now. But yes, wonderful recipe. I’m make tons at a time because we eat so much.

  3. Excellent recipe. Did need the extra water as noted, but the lentils finished in 32 minutes flat. Paired with a nice Bordeaux. Fantastic evening! Added 2 cloves to make up for the coriander powder that has disappeared from the spice rack. Came out fine!

  4. Hello! If I wanted to add a little more water to this recipe (say 3 cups instead of 2.5 cups) how much longer would I cook the lentils for on high pressure?

    I made this today using 2.5 cups and some lentils were still just slightly underdone.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Nita – The cooking time will remain the same even if you increase the quantity of water or double the recipe. Hope you enjoy the dal!

  5. We tried this recipe and enjoyed it well.
    I pressure cooked the dal separately and added the ingredients as per your list.
    It turned out yummy.
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Tarloke – Sure, it will just take longer to cook in an pan. I have added the stovetop pan instructions in the recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

  6. This lentil recipe was so good! I doubled it in my 8 qt Instant Pot and it was perfect! Great texture and flavor. Served with basmatic rice.

    1. Hi Aliya – I think the potatoes might get a bit overcooked in this time of 12 minutes. This cooking time is needed for the lentils to cook well. If you do want to try with adding potatoes, I would cut them in very large pieces.

    1. Hi Lisa – Yes, you can do pot-in-pot brown rice. I would soak the brown rice for 1 hour in warm water, then cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. If you want to use pot-in-pot white rice, then cook for 10 minutes on high pressure, with an NPR.