Lentils and Beans are super popular in the Indian Vegetarian diet. From eating a variety of delicious dals, curries, and khichdi's; pulses are a great way to add plant-based protein to your diet. They are budget-friendly and a must in my pantry. I am super excited to share my collection of easy, healthy, and delicious Lentil and Bean recipes with you!
Growing up in India, the whistling stovetop pressure cookers were a common sight and sound in every kitchen. I remember my mom using her pressure cooker every single day especially to cook lentils, beans, and rice!
Here in the US, I make sure that my kitchen is stocked with a variety of lentils and beans. When it comes to Indian cooking they are pantry basics. With a long shelf life, they coming in handy for quick and wholesome last-minute meals. Legumes are nutrient-rich and the main source of protein and fiber for many of my Indian dishes.
Lentils and beans are perfect to make creamy dals and delicious curries including the quintessential Indian soul food, Chana Masala. Using the Instant Pot to make these recipes packs in hours of slow-cooked bold flavors in minutes. Serve them with parathas or rice for a satisfying meal the whole family will enjoy.
Indian Recipes using Lentils and Beans
I’m excited to share this collection of popular lentil and bean recipes with you. Although these recipes use the Instant Pot Pressure cooker you can easily convert them to your stovetop pressure cooker. Here is a Tip - Every 3 minutes of Instant Pot Pressure cooking is equivalent to 1 whistle in the traditional pressure cooker. So go ahead and try these recipes for a hearty meal.
Indian Lentil and Beans Recipes
Collection of Popular Indian Lentil and Bean recipes cooked in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Starting from dals made with leantils such as masoor dal, toor dal to creamy dal makhani, curried black eyed peas and chickpeas.
I have included all of my favorite one pot "Khichdi" recipes that use lentils, rice and veggies to make a complete meal.
I will even show you how to incorporate lentils in your cabbage stir fry as well as how to make the perfect Idli, Dosa and Uttapam Batter for the BESE South Indian Breakfast and Tiffin recipes.
A favorite Indian lentil dish, this spinach dal is made with an easy dump-and-done Instant Pot recipe. This recipe also shows you how to make the rice at the same time using the pot in pot technique so you have a full meal to enjoy. This recipe can be made vegan by replacing ghee with neutral cooking oil or you can also completely skip it.
Herbaceous dill and rich, creamy moong daal meld together in this hearty Garlic Dill Lentils dish. Cooking the dill with lentils mellows the distinctive grassy flavor of the herb. In India, this is a common dish to eat after pregnancy, but baby or no baby, this recipe is delicious served with warm paratha or steamed rice.
The ultimate comfort food, Dal Dhokli is a sweet, spicy, and tangy lentil stew with freshly made whole wheat noodles cooked in the lentils. A hearty one-pot meal from the Indian States of Gujarat and Maharashtra, where it is also called Chakolya or Varan Phal.
Rajma Masala is what I call my “rainy day curry” because I always have the ingredients in my pantry and don’t need a plan to pull together a super healthy and tasty meal. This vegetarian comfort food turns a few simple ingredients into a richly spiced bean curry with delicious tomato gravy that just begs to be sopped up with rice and parathas.
North Indian comfort food, Dal Makhani is a lightly spiced creamy lentils dish that is cooked to perfection with just a few warm spices such as garam masala and turmeric. Traditionally slow-cooked for hours, this quick & easy Instant Pot recipe with pot in pot rice options delivers finger-licking good authentic flavors in no time.
This vegetarian mulligatawny soup is a lower-carb version of a restaurant favorite. It features cauliflower rice and coconut milk. There are so many bold flavors in this creamy soup. It will have you reaching for seconds.
Chana Masala, also known as Chickpea Curry or Chole, is the quintessential Indian soul food. This simple recipe achieves an authentic Punjabi Chana Masala flavor without a store-bought spice blend, and the sauce is full-bodied with bold garam masala and deep tomato flavors.
Chana Saag is a vegetarian chickpea curry cooked with greens in a tangy onion-tomato-based sauce that is perfectly spiced with turmeric, cumin seeds, and garam masala. Cooked in under 30 minutes, using few basic ingredients, this Instant Pot Chana Saag is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Black Eyed Peas Curry cooked in a smooth onion, tomatoes, and coconut-based sauce with earthy flavors from turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Spiced with red chili powder and aromatic garam masala, this tasty curry served with rice or warm roti this meal is on repeat in my home.
Popular street food in India, Ragda patties is a dish everyone must try once. A spicy white peas curry served over potato patties and dressed up with sweet and tangy chutneys, crispy sev, and garnished with diced onions and fresh cilantro. Every bite is a magical explosion of “spicy, sweet and tangy” AKA “CHAT-PATA” flavors and the melt-in-mouth potato patties.
Misal Pav is a vibrant meal consisting of a spicy sprouted bean curry topped with crunchy Farsan, crisp red onions, and fresh cilantro that is served with lightly buttered Pav or dinner rolls. The bold flavors of this peppery dish are accentuated with a dash of lemon, packing in an explosion of flavors in every bite.
Moong Dal Chilla is a classic Indian breakfast dish that is enjoyed with pickles or chutneys. These Savory Green Gram Lentils Pancakes make for a healthy and EASY gluten-free option for naan, parathas, and roti. They make for a delicious wrap to roll up your favorite foods.
Instant quinoa oats dosa is my go-to recipe when I am craving my favorite South Indian food and do not have hours or days to plan ahead. This recipe uses quinoa instead of rice and does not require fermenting of the batter.
Perfectly soft Masoor Dal Chilla lightly spiced with green chili and ginger. These protein-packed savory lentil pancakes are excellent for breakfast, snack, or with main meals. They make for a delicious gluten-free and vegan substitute for the traditional Indian roti, parathas, or naan.
Chickpea Biryani is a wholesome vegetarian Biryani with plump chickpeas cooked in caramelized onions and spices over fragrant basmati rice. Paired with a cooling cucumber raita and a squeeze of fresh lime, this biryani makes a hearty meal.
Palak Khichdi is a wholesome vegetarian dish made with lentils, rice, and spinach. This gluten-free dish cooked in ghee, earthy cumin, and warming garam masala makes an amazingly flavorful and satisfying meal.
A nutritious and hearty meal, this khichdi is made with mixed lentils, rice, fresh ginger-garlic, and green chilies. Served along with the spicy-tangy yogurt-based kadhi this khichdi is comfort food at its best!
Sprouted Lentils Khichdi is a protein-packed, healthy and wholesome dish made with sprouted whole brown or green lentils, rice, ginger, garlic, and spices.
Ven Pongal is a satisfying tiffin dish that is eaten for breakfast in South India. The rice and lentils are generously seasoned with curry leaves, cumin seeds, and black pepper. My family loves this hearty, gluten-free, vegetarian meal for lunch and dinner.
Bisi Bele Bhath is a spicy and flavor-packed rice dish that is cooked with lentils, rice, lots of vegetables, and aromatic spices! I love south Indian food and the flavors of the fresh spices and ground lentils used in various dishes are simply divine. Bisi Bele Bhath to me is the ultimate comfort food when it comes to simple home-cooked food.
Cabbage stir fry is an Indian Spiced side dish AKA Patta Gobi ki Subzi. The recipe has an earthy tempering of cumin seeds, ground turmeric, and the tender cooked cabbage is spiced up with chili. I like to add soaked mung dal to this dish for a nutty bite and also to add some proteins to the dish.
South Indian food is my all-time favorite food. I have been making Idli batter at home for years and now with Instant Pot, the process of fermenting the batter has become a lot easier. The Instant Pot Yogurt mode has the perfect temperature for the batter to ferment. This batter can also be used to make fluffy uttapam and crispy dosa too!
Uttapam are savory pancakes with crispy golden edges and a pillowy soft center topped with veggies. Traditionally served as breakfast in India, wholesome Uttapam also makes for a quick and satiating meal.
An undisputed masterpiece from the kitchens of South India, Idli are soft, melt-in-the-mouth steamed cakes made from a nutrient-rich fermented batter of rice and lentils. Since these pillowy, porous vegan cakes are fat-free, they make a perfect meal for any time of the day.
Protein-packed pillowy soft steamed idlis with quinoa and lentils! With a subtle nutty and sweet taste, these idlis have a light ivory color from the quinoa. Serve with coconut chutney or piping hot sambar, this healthy meal is sure to be on your repeat menu.
I hope you enjoyed browsing through these meatless Indian recipes and they inspire you to try incorporating legumes into your diet. These protein-packed meals are not only tasty but will keep you satisfied for hours. Best of all they are inexpensive, have a long shelf life, and are easily available.
- In most recipes, natural pressure release works the best allowing the lentils to cook soft and creamy
- Lentils and beans are best when used within 6 months of the purchase date. Older pulses may take a longer time to cook. You may need to add additional 5 minutes of pressure cook time
- Organic beans and lentils also may need additional 5 minutes of pressure cook time
- In some recipes, I recommend soaking the beans. If you do not have time you can flash soak beans in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes
- If your lentils are not cooking soft in the given pressure cook-time, you may have hard water. Using filtered water will help
Are there any specific lentils and beans that you are looking to try? Leave me a comment below and I will be happy to share the recipes with you. Happy Cooking!
Here are some more Indian recipe collections for you:
- 30+ Indian Vegetarian Recipes Using Instant Pot
- 8 Easy Biryani Recipes
- 26 Best Indian Chicken Recipes
- 35+ Indian Dessert Recipes
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