A delicious, comforting, and wholesome Moth Beans Curry. Full of flavor and nutrition, this Punjabi-style Moth Dal can be made in the Instant Pot in just 30 minutes!

Moth lentils in a white bowl with cilantro and roti
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This Instant pot Moth Beans curry is so easy to whip up and requires everyday ingredients from your kitchen. This dal pairs perfectly with warm roti, paratha, or rice.

Cooking this moth beans is quite easy, you can either use a normal pressure cooker or the instant pot. Moth beans are low in calories and high in nutrition, which makes it a wholesome meal.

What are Moth Beans?

Moth beans (pronounced as moath) are a drought-resistant legume, which is protein rich and consumed widely in India.

They are also called Matki, Mat Beans, Turkish Gram, or Dew Bean. In Telugu, they are called Nundy.

They are small brown lentils with a yellow interior and are used in many dishes. They are great to sprout, and I use them frequently in curries such as this sprouts curry or the popular Maharashtrian dish misal pav.

Moth Beans Nutrition

Moth Beans are native to India and Pakistan and are also cultivated across the United States, Thailand, Australia, and other parts of the world. Just like all other lentils, Moth beans are full of nutrition. They come with a whole of benefits like:

  • Mat beans are high in protein.
  • They contain healthy amounts of calcium and phosphorus, which are vital for bone health.
  • Moth dal contains zinc that strengthens the immune system
  • It increases energy levels and improves digestion.
Matki dal in a white bowl garnished with cilantro

How to cook Moth Dal in Instant Pot?

Before we start making Punjabi-style moth dal, gather the needed ingredients, such as onion, tomato, ginger, green chili, and spices.

  • Start by rinsing the dal in cold water and chop onions, tomatoes, and green chili.
  • Set the Instant Pot on sauté mode and heat oil in it. Add cumin and green chili to the hot oil and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Then add the onions, ginger, and garlic, and sauté until the onions become translucent.
  • Then add the finely chopped tomatoes along with the spices and stir them well.
  • Now is the time to add the Moth dal and water. Stir well. Press Cancel and close the lid with the vent in the sealing position
  • Choose Pressure cook mode (manual) and set the timer for 12 minutes. Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Once the pressure is fully released, open the lid and stir the dal.
  • Then add some lime juice along with some fresh cilantro leaves and give a gentle stir.
  • Serve Moth Dal Curry with roti or rice.

The bowl images show how I use my onion tomato bhuna masala to make this moth dal. This is a great way to meal prep the masala which includes onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. It can be used in any recipe which needs these 4 ingredients.

step by step images for a recipe in instant pot

For this dal, I use 1/4 cup of bhuna masala for 1 cup of dry dal.

It is so convenient not to have to chop and stir-fry onions and tomatoes every time.

cooked Moth lentils in the instant pot garnished with cilantro

How to Make Moth Dal in Stovetop Pressure Cooker?

Usually, when my mom used to make this lentil curry, she used to cook the lentils separately and then do a tadka. But the steps below will help you make this curry as one pot recipe.

Moth bean lentils in a ladle over the instant pot

Follow the same steps as above. Pressure cook it until you hear two whistles. Now reduce the flame to medium and pressure cook it for another 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. 

Cover the lid, turn the heat on to high flame, and pressure cook it until you hear 2 whistles. Now reduce the flame to medium and pressure cook it for another 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. 

Moth dal, or any other lentil for that matter tends to get thick as it cools down, so adjust the water accordingly. You can also add some water while reheating the dal if you are going to have it after a while.

Moth beans dal in a bowl garnished with cilantro

Enjoy the mat dal with roti, paratha, or steamed basmati rice. You can pair this dal with stir-fry vegetables like Aloo GobiBhindi Masala (Okra), or Cabbage Peas.

4.88 from 24 votes

Easy Punjabi Moth Dal (Matki Curry)

A delicious, comforting, and wholesome Moth Beans Curry. Full of flavor and nutrition, this Punjabi style Moth Dal can be made in the Instant Pot in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup Moth Lentils , whole, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Green Chili Pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ginger, grated or paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic, minced or paste
  • 1 cup Onion, white, diced
  • 3/4 cup Tomato, chopped
  • 3 cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Lime juice, optional
  • Cilantro, to garnish

Spices

Instructions 

Instant Pot Method

  • Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and heat oil in it. Add cumin seeds, green chili and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add onions, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add chopped tomato, spices and stir. 
  • Add lentils and water. Stir well. Press CANCEL and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position.
  • Set to MANUAL or Pressure Cook mode on high pressure for 12 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR).
  • Open the lid and add lime juice and cilantro. Stir and Moth dal is ready to be served.  

Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

  • Heat oil in the pressure cooker on medium-high flame. Add cumin seeds, green chili and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add onions, ginger and garlic. Saute for 3 minute. 
  • Add chopped tomato, spices and stir. 
  • Add lentils and water. Stir well. 
  • Cover the lid, turn the heat on high flame and pressure cook it until you hear 2 whistles. Now reduce the flame to medium and pressure cook it for another 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. 
  • Open the lid and add lime juice and cilantro. Stir and green moong dal is ready to be served.  

Notes

  • To reduce spice, skip the green chili.
  • I did not soak the dal in this recipe. If you soak for 3-4 hours, reduce cooking time to 10 minutes.
  • This recipe can be doubled with no change in cooking time. 
  • Vegan variation:  Use oil when tempering in step 1. 
  • This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Pressure Cooker

Nutrition

Serving: 339gCalories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 15gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 654mgPotassium: 782mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 307IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 141mgIron: 6mg

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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18 Comments

  1. The dal was so awesome!! Followed your instructions accurately and it came out so yummy.

    1. I had never heard of Moth until until I was wandering around an Asian market. I found this recipe and discovered a delicious way to expand my cooking. The Moth lentils are firmer and nuttier than American lentils and I really enjoyed them. I doubled the recipe and was glad I had. Very good!

    1. Hi Scarlet – Sorry to hear you did not enjoy the dal. The dal does thicken as it cools down. Also, you can reduce the amount of water if tripling the recipe next time.

  2. This really was an easy and delicious dish! My family does not cook with moth beans, so this was an excellent beginner’s recipe. I love this and will make it again. I’ll also attempt the misal pav. Thank you!

  3. I know you’re an InstaPot chef, but I sadly do not have one, and have just started cooking lentils and beans. This recipient looks delicious. How can I cook it without an instaPot please. I just have regular pans and a stove top 😀

    1. Hi Carrie – I understand. You can surely make this dal on the stovetop. You can follow the same steps in a heavy bottom pot. You will need more water when cooking in a pan, and it will take longer. I would suggest to initially cook on medium-high flame, then once you have added the lentils and water, bring to a boil, then simmer to low flame and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Kimberley – Moth dal is brown in color and has small round-is beans. It will be labeled moth beans or matki. Here is an off link for this dal on amazon. This might give an idea of how the pack will look – https://amzn.to/2J2xm1R. Do get from the indian grocery, it will be much cheaper there.

      1. Hi Kim – Sorry to hear that you did not get a notification. Based on what I know, if you have added an email address, a notification is sent to the email when a response is added.