Spinach Daal – Instant Pot

Spinach Daal – A staple in Indian homes, daal is a healthy lentil dish cooked in ghee with healthy and whole some ingredients like tomatoes, garlic and spinach. Best way to make it is in a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot!

A few weeks back I published a post on Indian Pulses. The lentils I used for making today’s spinach daal in Instant Pot are the ‘split and skinned green gram’.  These are small yellow lentils that cook super fast. Yellow pigeon peas or split red lentils would be my other two favorite lentils to make this daal.

spinach daal
Growing up, I remember eating many variations of Indian daals made by my mom. Spinach daal is one of her recipe that I adapted for my busy life style with little children. This daal beautifully incorporate protein and veggies in one dish. Served with steamed rice it sure makes a wholesome and hearty meal. Over the years I have simplified my mom’s recipe and here is my version that we enjoy frequently:

Heading next, to try my drumstick leaves daal in Instant Pot.

Spinach Daal - Instant Pot
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Spinach Daal - A staple in Indian homes, daal is a healthy lentil dish made in ghee with healthy and whole some ingredients like tomatoes, garlic and spinach.
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 green chilies, slit into half
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 8 curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup lentils(split and skinned green gram or split red lentils or yellow pigeon peas)
  • 2 cups spinach, rough chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 cups of water
  1. Turn Instant Pot on. Once the "hot" sign displays, add ghee. Add cumin and cook for 30 seconds. Add turmeric, green chilies, garlic and curry leaves. Mix well.
  2. Add tomatoes, lentils, salt and 2 cups of water. Give a quick stir.
  3. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Set Instant Pot to Manual(HI) for 15 mins. Allow Natural pressure release or do Quick Release, after, about 5 mins of NPR.
  4. Add more water, about 2 cups, to bring the lentils to desired consistency. Blend the daal using immersion blender. Add chopped Spinach and mix well. Cook on Sauté mode until the daal come to gentle boil. Turn IP off. Add more water if required. Adjust salt to taste.
  5. Note: Everyone has a different consistency they like for the daal. I usually put about 4-5 cups of water for 1 cup of lentils.
  6. Serve hot with steamed basmati rice.


26 thoughts on “Spinach Daal – Instant Pot

  1. I made this last night with a few substitutions. I had half cup of red and half cup of green lentil – they might have been whole not split. I soaked for 20 minutes. I also added kale instead of spinach. Overall the taste was good, but texture was not perfect . Next time, I will add more water after and blend more. Thank you for recipe.

    1. I like your idea of using kale in this recipe. I love kale and I am sure it must have tasted delicious. I have to agree that I do end up adding more water sometimes when I want a more soupy consistency. Thank you.

  2. I love this dish! I have made it three times already. I can’t to try more of your recipes. I am so glad these are written for the Instant Pot. Thank you!

    1. Thank you!So glad to hear that you are enjoying this recipe. We make this once a week too! So healthy and the Instant Pot makes it very easy. Do try rest of my recipes!

  3. Archana! We tried this one tonight and all thought it was excellent. I don’t happen to have curry leaves (we live in the middle of nowhere) and I used beet greens from the garden instead of spinach, Tomatoes are not yet ripe, but canned did work. Actually, I couldn’t believe how insanely EASY the recipe was; I kept checking to make sure I had not messed up. THIS is happening again! Thank you again and I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this blog!

    1. Hi Wendy! Awesome! This notes makes me SO happy. I love beet greens and its a great idea to add any greens you like, we sometimes make this with dill or chard too! This recipe is our family recipe that we make once a week. It is also a good make ahead dish. Thank you for trying the recipe and taking time for giving me the feedback. Thank you! Thank you!!

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