Instant Pot Methi Dal / Instant Pot Fenugreek Lentil Soup

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Instant Pot Methi Dal / Instant Pot Fenugreek Lentil Soup

Instant pot methi dal is so easy and quick to make. It is a staple food in our home. After a long day when I am out of ideas on what to cook, I usually cook dal. Dal is the perfect comfort food and is rich in nutrients. In my family, we eat dal over hot steamed rice with a simple vegetable side or pickle.
I often get lazy to cook a vegetable on the side after a long day of work. That’s when I throw in vegetables in the dal. For example: fenugreek leaves (methi) or spinach (palak). Methi dal is a very budget friendly, quick weekday meal.
For this recipe, I have used toor dal / arhar dal (pigeon pea lentil).
In the actual recipe the dal is boiled and the onions, tomatoes, methi, and spices are sautéed separately and are then added to the boiled dal.
I attempted to create a gourmet one pot easy, quick, and delicious methi dal recipe in the instant pot. It totally worked!
Fenugreek leaves (Methi): You can use either fresh methi or frozen methi. I prefer to use frozen methi. It saves me the time and trouble of cleaning, rinsing and chopping the leaves. My cooking is all about convenience and ease. I buy methi leaves from the Indian store. The brand I typically use is Deep. That is what is available in the Indian grocery store close to my home. Methi is an acquired taste and is slightly bitter. I personally love methi and cook it with potatoes, chicken, goat or use it in rotis / theplas.
In dal, you don’t really taste the bitterness of methi. My kids love this dal and don’t even realize that they are eating vegetables.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Dal soaking time (included in prep time)20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Instant Pot Dal, Instant Pot Fenugreek Lentil Soup, Instant pot Methi Dal
Servings: 4
Author: Shilpa

Ingredients

Instructions

Prep

  • Rinse the dal a few times and discard the water. 
  • Soak the dal for 20 minutes in 1.5 cups water. Discard the water before cooking.
  • Finely chop the onion, dice the tomato and slit the serrano pepper.
  • Microwave the frozen methi leaves for 2 minutes. Remove all the excess water from the leaves. I put the methi leaves in a mesh colander and use a spoon and press it to drain the water.

Cook

  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
  • Add oil to the pot.
  • When the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds begin to splutter, add curry leaves, whole dried red chili peppers, and asafoetida.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté. Stir to prevent the onions from burning.
  • When the onions turn golden in roughly 2 to 4 minutes add the ginger garlic paste. Stir 
  • Add the diced tomato and sauté for a minute until it gets mushy. Stir.
  • Then add the salt, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, aamchur powder, and serrano pepper. Add 1/4 cup water and stir.
  • Add the methi leaves and sauté for about a minute. Stir.
  • Add the dal, and the remaining 3 and 1/4  cup water. Stir well. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well.
  • Press cancel.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
  • Use natural pressure release. The natural pressure release should take about 10 minutes.
  • Open the lid. If you like the dal thick then use the back of the ladle and crush some dal. You can also select sauté and stir for about 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Transfer in a serving bowl immediately.

Serve

  • Serve with steamed rice or roti.

Notes

  • This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
  • If you like your food spicy then you can add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. This dal is not very spicy as is. On a scale of 1 to 5 it is probably 2.5.
  • Ground cayenne pepper and red chili powder can be used interchangeably as both of them make the dish spicy. So if you don’t have red chili powder you can use cayenne pepper instead. 
  • Dal tends to thicken up if you refrigerate it overnight or if you reheat it. In that case add about 1/4 cup boiling water and stir.
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