Masoor Daal (Red Lentil)

Daal, not dull! Hah I tried.

It’ s a proud moment for this blog because I have finally mastered the art of cooking Daal. After many failed attempts (partly because I didn’t own a presuure cooker), I have finally nailed Daal Chawal. This recipe is a version of the one my cook in Pakistan used to make and is admittedly a tad spicier. I also took the liberty to deepen the color but don’t worry, I’ll share the more classic yellow daal very soon!

If you’re in the same boat as I was a few weeks ago, this is for you! Just get yourself a mini pressure cooker featured in this video and you’re golden!

Masoor Daal (Red Lentil)
Cook time
Total time
If you're looking for a Daal that has all the flavors you ever craved, this is it!
Recipe type: Lentil (Daal)
Cuisine: Pakistani
Serves: 3-4
  • Pressure cook:
  • 1 cup red lentil (masoor daal)
  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • red chili powder, a pinch
  • ½ cup tomato, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • Tarka temper:
  • ½ cup oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, slices
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  1. In a pressure cooker on medium heat, pressure cook lentil, water, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, and tomato.
  2. Wait for 4 whistles. The texture should be mushy. If the texture differs from the video, pressure cook for 2 more whistles. Remove lid (be sure to let the steam release completely--I prop up the safety valve with a knife).*
  3. Turn the flame to the lowest setting while you prepare the Tarka.
  4. In another pan, add oil, garlic cloves, red chilli flakes and red chilli powder and let cook on low heat for a few minutes or until garlic has turned golden brown.
  5. Pour the Tarka in the hot daal, give it a quick stir and turn off the flame.
  6. Cover with lid until ready to serve.
  7. Serve hot with Basmati or any long-grain rice.
*Start with 3 whistles and check your desired consistency. At 4 whistles, the daal will be quite thick so lately I’ve been cooking it for 3 whistles.
*You can also omit tomato and increase water by 1/2 cup. I have also been doing this lately.
* Lastly, you can reduce the oil to 1/4 cup if 1/2 cup is too much for you.



  1. How long would you recommend cooking this in an instant pot instead and would you tweak the water/spice ratio in an instant pot?

    I have a ninja foodi and I used the exact recipe and it didn’t turn out as good as your video! 🙁

    I may have guesstimated the time incorrectly to pressure cook.

    1. Hi Shazeen, for pressure cooking knowing the vessel is quite important. I have never used an instant pot so unfortunately won’t be able to suggest a trusted technique. Usually, if at the end of pressure cooking I find the daal to be grainy, I add more water and cook it off on the stove. Similarly, if I think the lentils aren’t done, I put back on pressure for a few more wistles. Sorry if you were hoping for a better response but I hope this helps a it.

  2. Hi, I just found you and I’m very excited to try some of your recipes. For the first time in my life, I just went to a Pakistani & Indian restaurant. I have NEVER had such AMAZING FOOD in my LIFE!! I’m ready to learn as much as I can about this type of food, so thank you for your recipe. One question for you, where did you purchase your cute little pressure cooker?

    1. Ahh, I borrowed a friend’s for this recipe but check out hawkin’s Classic Pressure Cooker. I believe this holds 2 litres.

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