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Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal – Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Lentils

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This Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal – Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Lentils – instant pot dal is the BOMB ya’ll. As the name suggests it is sweet and sour. If you have been following my previous posts you will notice that I make a lot of dal. It is a quick fix, packed with protein and is a complete meal with rice/roti, yogurt, and veggies on the side.

I grew up eating a lot of Gujarati food. My closest friend in India was a Gujarati. I have always loved Gujarati food. We now live in Dallas and have many Gujarati friends. I try to incorporate different cuisines in our day to day life and Gujarati food is one of them.

What is Gujarati Dal?

Gujarati khatti meethi dal is traditionally made with toor dal / arhar dal (pigeon pea lentil). If you have tried some of my other dal recipes like Sultani dal, or Methi dal you will find that those dals are of thick consistency. Those are North Indian/Punjabi dals and are meant to be thick. The consistency of this dal is supposed to be thin and slightly watery. This Gujarati dal doesn’t contain onions or garlic.

In the original recipe the dal is pressure cooked with water, salt, and turmeric. The dal is then blended with an immersion blender or a spoon. Kokum and jaggery are then added and the dal is cooked on low-medium heat. The tempering ingredients are sautéed separately in a pan in ghee or oil and then added to the pressure cooked dal.

However, like I have stated before, I am trying to simplify my recipes and make them fast and quick. In this recipe in order to simplify the cooking process. I sautéed the tempering ingredients in the instant pot, then threw the dal and water in the pot and pressure cooked it altogether. It’s super easy and convenient. This quick recipe tastes great! You must give it a try.

Since I cooked everything together I didn’t blend the dal with an immersion blender. I used the back of the ladle to crush the dal.

I typically cook toor dal in the instant pot for 7 to 8 minutes for Punjabi recipes. However, for this one I cooked it longer to soften the dal and I also added extra water to get the watery texture. I normally add about 3 cups water for 1 cup toor dal. However I have added 3.5 cups water here.

Souring ingredients for Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal – Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Lentils:

 In order to create the sour taste I have added dried kokum (Garcinia indica). It is easily available in Indian stores. It is usually sold as a dried rind, and adds a pinkish purple color and sweet/sour taste. Kokum is not usually chopped and is added as is. The flavor can be quite sour so add only a few petals. Kokum takes a little stewing in the gravy for the sourness to release, so, pressure cooking it with the dal is perfect.

Some people also add lemon juice or tamarind instead of kokum. If you don’t have kokum you can choose to add lemon juice (1 tablespoon) or tamarind paste (1.5 teaspoons) instead of kokum. These two, unlike kokum need to be added once the dal is cooked towards the end. Once you add lemon juice or tamarind paste give the dal a good stir and transfer it in a serving bowl.

Jaggery for Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal – Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Lentils: 

Jaggery is a concentrated product of cane juice. I used powdered jaggery powder bought in the Indian store. You can also buy a solid block of jaggery and grate it. If you don’t have jaggery you can use sugar instead. It will change the taste slightly though.

Tried this recipe yet? Give us a rating, comment below in the reply section and let us know what you think.

Try some of our other recipes:

Instant Pot Punjabi Dhaba Chicken Curry

Instant Pot Butter Chicken / Instant Pot Murg Makhani

Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal – Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Lentils

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Dal soaking time (included in prep time) 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine India
Servings 4




  • 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.
  • Wash and crush the serrano peppers and the chopped ginger in a motor and pestle.
  • Wash and chop the cilantro.


  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
  • Add oil to the pot.
  • When the oil is hot add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add curry leaves, whole dried red chili peppers, asafoetida, cloves, and the cinnamon stick.
  • Add the crushed ginger and serrano peppers.
  • Then add the dal and water. Stir
  • Add turmeric, peanuts, jaggery, kokum, and salt. Mix well. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well.
  • Press cancel.
  • Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, use quick pressure release to depressurize.
  • Open the lid. Mash the dal roughly with a potato masher or back of a ladle.
  • Transfer into a serving bowl immediately.
  • Garnish with cilantro.


  • Serve with steamed rice or roti.


  • This is the kokum that I used. I bought it in the Indian store. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serrano peppers: I have added 2 serrano peppers and honestly the dal is not too spicy. The jaggery moderates the spice levels. 
  • Jaggery: I used powdered jaggery from the Indian store. Image shown here:
Keyword Gujrati Dal, Instant Pot Dal, Instant Pot Gujrati Dal, Instant Pot Khatti Meethi Dal, Instant Pot Lentil Soup, Khatti Meethi Dal
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My name is Shilpa Tiku. I am a foodie and love experimenting with different cuisines. Originally a Kashmiri, born in Mumbai and currently live in Dallas.

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[…] try some of my other dal recipes. Instant Pot Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal / Instant Pot Sour and Sweet Lentil Soup is a similar type of […]

Archana Shah
Archana Shah
May 17, 2020 7:42 pm

5 stars
Recipe was on point! My dad thought it tasted like “naath ni daal,” the highest compliment ever!

Fast Curries
May 18, 2020 2:02 pm
Reply to  Archana Shah

Thank You Archana. Really appreciate you taking the time out to write such a kind feedback. So glad you and your dad liked it. Stay safe and happy cooking 🙂

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