Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani with Brown Rice – Instant Pot

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Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani – Two names to debate on as they connect a North Indian delicacy to a south Indian dish?

A few weeks ago, while I was shopping at my local Costco, I saw a table with “Tasty Bites Madras Lentils” for tasting. I am usually good at staying away from pre-packaged foods but that day, shopping at lunch hour on empty stomach, made it harder for me to resist. Plus I LOVE South Indian food and the word “madras” really made me more curious. Anyway, I tried a few spoonfuls of it and it reminded me of the traditional north Indian “Daal Makhani”! Except I did not taste too many spices in the Costco Madras Lentils making them a bit lighter yet very flavorful. I am still curious on why they call it Madras Lentils?

 

I took a picture of the package to see the ingredients with a plan to try making them at home. The ingredients list from the packaging was – water, tomatoes, lentils(adzuki beans), onions, red kidney beans, cream, butter, oil, salt, ginger, cumin and chillies.

So here is the basic difference between Madras Lentils and my Daal Makhani recipe:
  • Daal Makhani recipe, in addition to the above ingredients from Madras lentils, also has fresh garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • Daal Makhani has whole Black Gram Beans and Red Kidney Beans while the Costco Madras Lentils had adzuki beans and red kidney beans.

madras lentils/daal makhani

So with these basic differences in mind, I decided to try the recipe with just the ingredients from the Madras Lentils package. With the magic of the Instant Pot , the madras lentils were cooked to perfection with all the spices infused so well in about 45 minutes!!

I did sprinkle a little bit of garam masala in the end but that was more of a personal choice. I also used black gram beans instead of adzuki beans and I think whole brown lentils(masoor) will also work well in this recipe!

Here is the video for EASY Tasty Bites Madras lentils/Daal Makhani recipe with Pot in Pot Brown Rice:

Check out the recipe below that also explains how to easily adjust this recipe for a more authentic Daal Makhani recipe:

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maras lentils/daal makhani
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Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani with Brown Rice - Instant Pot
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
A creamy lentil dish cooked with whole black lentils and kidney beans, lightly spiced to enjoy as a chili or over rice!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Archana Mundhe
Ingredients
Ingredients for Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani:
  • 1 cup Black Gram Beans/adzuki beans/whole brown lentils
  • 1/3 cup Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup light cream or coconut cream or cashew cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala optional for non-spicy lentils
  • cilantro for garnish
Rice:
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
Instructions:
  1. Rinse and soak black gram beans and red kidney beans in 3 cups of water. Overnight or 6-8 hours. Drain the water after soaking and keep the beans aside.
  2. Set Instant Pot to Sauté(more) mode. Once the "Hot" sign displays, add oil and cumin seeds. Add onions and mix well.
  3. Add turmeric powder, fresh ginger, tomatoes, salt, red chili powder and beans. Mix well.
  4. Add 2 cups of water.
For pot in pot rice (optional)
  1. Rinse and drain rice. Add rice, 2 cups of water and salt in a stainless steel container.
  2. Put a tall trivet ( I have a 2.75 inch one from amazon) over the beans.
  3. Place rice container on the trivet.
  4. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 30 minutes followed by Natural Pressure Release.
  5. Open Instant Pot and set to saute mode.
  6. Carefully take out the Rice container and the trivet.
  7. Stir in cream, add garam masala (optional) and garnish with cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Notes to make a more authentic daal makhani:

1.Add 1/2 tablespoon of cumin powder, 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic along with ginger and red chili powder. 2. Add 1 tablespoon kasoori methi {dried fenugreek leaves} along with fresh cilantro in the end. 3. You can also add more or less red chili powder and garam masala to adjust the spice level.

Notes to make dairy free: 1. Replace ghee with oil 2. Use coconut cream or cashew cream(blend cashews in water)

I prefer soaking the beans overnight. If you decide to cook them unsoaked, increase the cook time to 60 minutes. 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani with Brown Rice – Instant Pot

  1. I first saw this recipe on the FB Instant Pot page…I posted that I’d try the recipe soon. Well, made it yesterday. A wee bit of heat (fine with me!) and wonderful flavour! Really enjoyed; will go in regular rotation at my house. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kellie! So happy to hear that you tried and enjoyed this yummy recipe! Thank you for your lovely comments! It is on repeat in my home too 🙂

  2. Archana, loved this flavorful lentil dish. It is wholesome and without the grease and cooked without the sweat, thanks to the Instapot!

    1. Hello Kalyani! Thank you for your lovely comments. I am SO happy you enjoyed this dish and are using your Instant Pot!

    1. I like the soaked kidney beans to cook really soft, so 30 minutes is a good cook time for me. You can always reduce it to 25 mins for slightly firmer kidney beans. Hope this helps.

  3. This might be a silly question but thought I would ask anyways! I have a HUGE tub of leftover Sour Cream – can I use this instead of the cream? or would that not work and/or curdle? any other tips on how to use this leftover sour cream is greatly appreciated 🙂

    PS: I tried your palak paneer and it came out wonderful! I am so happy because it seemed like a big task before but now with the IP it is so easy and delicious!!

    1. Sour cream will not taste the same. What you can do is stir in a little in the end, taste and if you like the taste add more. IT will not curdle if you stir it in the end. AndI am so glad that you enjoyed the palak paneer. I make it often with chopped frozen spinach and its a breeze!

  4. I made this the other day and it came out very well. I had to use an immersion blender to get it more to the consistency I wanted but the taste was very good! Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your lovely feedback. I am glad you enjoyed the flavors. And I love your idea to using immersion blender to make it creamier.

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