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Easy Dal

Easy Dal

Easy Dal

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Easy recipe for dal makhani using two Vitamix containers and an Instant Pot



  • Masoor (red) lentils - 2 cups
  • GARAM MASALA (spice blend)
  • black mustard seeds - 1 Tablespoon
  • coriander seeds - 1 Tablespoon
  • cumin seeds - 1 Tablespoon
  • black peppercorns - 1 teaspoon
  • black cardomon - 3 pods
  • cinnamon stick - 1-inch piece
  • turmeric - a pinch
  • dried chili peppers - 0 or 1 or 2 or 4
  • garlic cloves - 6, peeled
  • fresh ginger - 2-inch piece
  • water - 8 ounces (approximately)
  • butter - 2 Tablespoons (we used Earth Balance, though traditional butter or coconut butter works)
  • tomato puree - 28-ounce can
  • water - 28 ounces
  • yellow onion - 1, diced
  • coconut cream - 1/2 cup, full fat



  1. Soak lentils in water for two hours.
  2. Add “garam” ingredients to blender and blend on high for 15 seconds. (We used the 8-oz cup.)
  3. Blend “garlic/ginger water” ingredients on high for 15 seconds. (We used the 20-oz cup.)

SAUTEE (in the Instant Pot):

  1. Press “Sautee” button on Instant Pot.
  2. Add butter
  3. Add “garam masala” ingredients to butter. (It’s going to sizzle!)
  4. Optional: Add diced yellow onion and cook until onions are translucent
  5. Mix for one minute
  6. Add “ginger/garlic water”
  7. Add 28-oz can of tomato puree
  8. Add one 28-oz can’s worth of water (28 ounces)
  9. Add drained lentils
  10. Optional: Add coconut cream
  11. Mix it all gently


  1. Press “Sautee” button to turn it off
  2. Press “Beans” button to turn it on
  3. Press down arrow to adjust time to 21 minutes.
  4. Lock the Instant Pot and it should just get started. (It will say “ON” while preheating and then the timer will appear when it’s pressurized and cooking.)


  1. Serve hot over rice.
  2. Add salt and pepper and cilantro and crushed red pepper to taste.
  3. We made this vegan naan and recommend if you have the time.

Useful tips for Easy Dal

We waited years before making this because we were afraid to go to an Indian grocery store to get the garam masala ingredients. Don’t do that. Go — it’s easy and worth it.