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)

If you're looking for a Daal that has all the flavors you ever craved, this is it!
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: lunch
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: daal chawal
Servings: 3
Author: Rookie With A Cookie



  • 1 cup red lentil masoor daal
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • red chili powder pinch
  • 1/2 cup tomato chopped
  • salt to taste

Tarka (temper)

  • 1/2 cup oil you can reduce this amount to your liking
  • 5 garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder


  • In a pressure cooker on medium heat, pressure cook lentil, water, coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, and tomato.
  • 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).*
  • Turn the flame to the lowest setting while you prepare the Tarka.
  • 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.
  • Pour the Tarka in the hot daal, give it a quick stir and turn off the flame.
  • Cover with lid until ready to serve.
  • 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 for tarka to 1/4 cup if 1/2 cup is too much for you.


5 thoughts on “Masoor Daal (Red Lentil)”

  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?

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Hello! I’m Izza

The Food Blogger

About Me

Hi Friend! I’m so excited to have you become a part of my family. I’m Izza, the Rookie behind and in front of the camera. I blog from my cozy apartment in downtown Seattle while working fulltime at Amazon. It really is the best of both worlds.

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