This is an updated version of a recipe from my old blog, one that evolves and changes as often as I make it. I adapted it to make in the Instant Pot after a couple of requests on Instagram. A good instant pot dal is valuable for those days when you need seriously flavorful comfort food without putting in much work. However, I’ve included a stovetop version in the recipe notes if you’re interested in making it the old-fashioned way.
When I first received my IP, I was intimidated by all its buttons. Then when I finally used it, I was annoyed by how not *instant* it was. Let go of the idea that it will save you a significant amount of time and you’ll save yourself this same frustration. For me, the pressure cooker is valuable because it is hands-off and because it infuses so much flavor into anything you cook in it. It does save some time when cooking dried beans, but don’t forget to account for the pressure building time (which can take up to 20 minutes) when planning your meal.
Once you get comfy with using a pressure cooker, it is such a great kitchen tool for lazy meal prep (which is basically the only kind of meal prep that happens around here). I like to use my Instant Pot to make a big batch of a hearty bean or lentil based stew like this. While it’s cooking, I cook a simple grain and gather up some herbs, sauces, or other toppings to round out my meal. It takes a little faith and patience to lock your dinner in a pressure cooker and wait for it to finish cooking, but the payoff is so worth it!Print
Vegan Instant Pot Dal Soul Bowls
This hearty and creamy Instant Pot dal is packed with warming Indian spices. Made with pantry staples and fresh vegetables, it’s a perfect family meal or meal prep option ready in under an hour.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
for the dal:
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garam masala spice blend
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed
- 1 1/4 cups dry lentils (I used a mix of split red and yellow lentils)
- 3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk
- 3 cups finely chopped kale (or sub a few generous handfuls of baby spinach)
- the juice of half a lime
- salt and pepper to taste
for the bowls:
- cooked rice or other grain
- sauerkraut or pickled onions
- vegan yogurt (or sub the rest of the can of coconut milk)
- chili flakes
- lime wedges
- Gather and prepare all ingredients. Plug in your Instant Pot and turn it to the saute setting (lid off) with a glug of oil or splash of water in the pot. Give it a couple minutes to heat up.
- Saute the onions and carrots until they’re softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices and stir well. Cook for 2 more minutes until fragrant, then add the sweet potato cubes and lentils and stir well to combine.
- Add the water or broth to the pot, stir well once again, and put the lid on, making sure the knob on the top is pointed to “sealing.” Change the setting to manual, high pressure, 20 minutes. The display will turn to “ON” while the appliance builds pressure, then it will count down from 20. After that, it will turn to “LO” pressure mode. Give it 5 minutes to depressurize on its own, then carefully flick the knob on the top of the lid toward you to “venting” and release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove the lid and stir well. The sweet potatoes will be soft and start to mash into the lentils. Taste to adjust the spices. I like to add more grated ginger and a little salt and pepper at this point, keeping in mind I’ll be adding lime juice and coconut milk to deepen the flavor.
- Stir in the chopped kale and the coconut milk, then place the lid back on to wilt the kale for 2 minutes. Add the lime juice and serve over rice with desired toppings.
For a stovetop version, follow the recipe as instructed, but simply cook for 30-40 minutes when directed to pressurize the instant pot. Stir in kale, coconut milk, and lime juice at the end.
Thanks for stopping by to check out this recipe. If you try it, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your creation. Cheers!