If you’re looking to ease up your meals and make something simple and quick, this one-pot healthy Instant Pot Palak Dal – Spinach Lentil Soup recipe is for you! It’s one of my all-time favorite dal and I hope you like it too.
The base for this lovely, everyday lentil soup is toor dal / arhar dal (pigeon pea lentil) coupled with hearty spinach (palak) for plenty of plant-based fiber and flavor.
In the actual recipe lentils and spinach are boiled and the onions, tomatoes, and spices are sautéed separately and are then added to the boiled lentils.
I attempted to create a gourmet one-pot easy, quick, and delicious spinach lentil recipe in the instant pot. It totally worked!
What type of Spinach do I use for Instant Pot Palak Dal – Spinach Lentil Soup?
Spinach: You can use any type of spinach. Frozen or fresh both work. I personally prefer the flavor of fresh spinach as it has a milder flavor. Baby or regular spinach both work. I have used fresh baby organic spinach in this recipe. You just need to chop it very finely. The spinach doesn’t need to be blended, just sautéed and pressure cooked.
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Instant Pot Palak Dal – Spinach Lentil Soup
- 2 tbsp oil of choice or ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 8 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- 2 whole red dried chilli peppers
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida (heeng)
- 1 finely chopped small red onion (roughly 1.5 cups chopped)
- 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
(either freshly minced or packaged)
- 1 small tomato (diced)
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
(ground cayenne pepper)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 serrano pepper slit lengthwise but still intact (green chili pepper)
- 2 cups baby spinach (chopped finely)
- 1 cup split pigeon peas ( toor dal)soaked for 20 mins in 1.5 cups of water
- 3.5 cups water (divided)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (either fresh or bottled)
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro for garnish finely chopped (optional)
- 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 finely chop the onion, spinach and cilantro. Wash and dice the tomato and slit the serrano pepper.
- Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
- Add oil to the pot.
- When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cumin 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.
- Add the salt, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, and serrano pepper. And ¼ cup water. Stir
- Add the chopped spinach leaves and sauté for about a minute. Stir.
- Add the dal, and the remaining 3 and ¼ 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.