Easy Instant Pot Black Lentil Curry

Learn how to make a tasty Black Lentil Curry in minutes with your Instant Pot! This easy recipe requires minimal ingredients and effort, making it perfect for busy days. Follow along for a satisfying meal that’s both nutritious and delicious!

Prefer the video recipe?

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow along 🙂
Watch Video Recipe 👉🏽

Instant Pot Black Lentils

An Easy Black Lentil Curry is a MUST in your recipe rotation.

Hey there, foodies! Let’s get cozy and talk about everyone’s favorite comfort food – curry! It’s that magical dish that fills your kitchen with irresistible aromas and makes your taste buds dance with joy. Today, we’re shining a spotlight on black lentil curry – a dish that’s not only delicious but also packs a punch of protein and nutrients to keep you feeling fantastic.

To make this recipe even easier, we’re going to use our Instant Pot! Yep, that kitchen hero known for making cooking a breeze. With its help, we’ll whip up a mouthwatering black lentil curry in no time.

So, grab your apron, and let’s embark on this flavor-packed journey together!

Why Black Lentils?

Let’s chat a little bit about black lentils, also affectionately known as beluga lentils. These petite legumes, resembling the luxurious black pearls of caviar once cooked, are not just a feast for the eyes but also a treat for the taste buds.

One of the remarkable qualities of black lentils is their ability to maintain their shape and texture even after prolonged cooking. This makes them an ideal candidate for hearty dishes like curries, where you want each bite to offer a satisfying bite without turning mushy. Picture it: nestled within a rich and flavorful curry sauce, these lentils provide a delightful contrast in texture, adding depth and complexity to every spoonful.

Now, let’s talk about nutrition. Black lentils aren’t just pretty on the plate; they’re also powerhouse ingredients packed with essential nutrients. They’re loaded with protein, making them a fantastic meat alternative for those seeking to boost their protein intake. Plus, they’re rich in dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health and keeps you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods. But that’s not all – black lentils also boast an impressive array of essential minerals, including iron, magnesium, and folate, to support overall well-being and vitality.

So, next time you’re planning your menu, don’t overlook the humble yet mighty black lentil. Whether you’re crafting a cozy curry or experimenting with new recipes, these versatile legumes are sure to elevate your culinary creations while nourishing your body from the inside out.

You can find black lentils pretty much anywhere, especially at your local Indian grocery store. You can also find them conveniently on Amazon here. 

Instant pot Black Lentils

How to add even more nutrition

While the Black Lentil Curry recipe is already packed with nutritious ingredients, there are several ways to amplify its nutritional value even further. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Leafy Greens: Incorporate leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or Swiss chard into the curry during the cooking process. These greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, adding a vibrant burst of nutrition to the dish.
  2. Vegetable Medley: Expand the variety of vegetables by adding diced carrots, bell peppers, or diced potatoes. These vegetables contribute essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium, enhancing the overall nutritional profile of the curry.
  3. Coconut Milk: Opt for light coconut milk or coconut cream instead of regular coconut milk to reduce the saturated fat content while still adding creaminess and a hint of sweetness to the curry.
  4. Nuts and Seeds: Sprinkle toasted nuts or seeds such as almonds, cashews, or pumpkin seeds on top of the curry before serving. These ingredients provide healthy fats, protein, and an additional crunchy texture.
  5. Fresh Herbs: Garnish the curry with a generous amount of fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or mint. Herbs not only enhance the visual appeal of the dish but also contribute vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  6. Whole Grains: Serve the curry with whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or millet instead of white rice or refined grains. Whole grains are rich in fiber, B vitamins, and minerals, promoting satiety and supporting digestive health.
  7. Nutritional Yeast: Stir in a tablespoon of nutritional yeast for a boost of vitamin B12 and a savory, cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast is a vegan-friendly ingredient commonly used as a cheese substitute.

By incorporating these nutrient-rich additions, you can transform the Black Lentil Curry into a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition, ensuring that every spoonful nourishes both body and soul.

Instant Pot Black Lentils

How do you make Black Lentil Curry

    1. Prepare the Base: Switch your Instant Pot to the sauté setting at medium heat. Once it’s heated, add in the cumin seeds and chopped onions with a pinch of salt. Sauté them until the onions turn soft and translucent, infusing your kitchen with their delightful aroma.
    2. Infuse Flavor: Add the finely chopped serrano pepper, ginger garlic paste, and tomatoes to the pot. Sauté until the tomatoes break down, creating a luscious base for our curry. The mixture should be soft enough to be easily mashed with the back of a spoon.
    3. Introduce the Lentils: Time to add in our star ingredients – the soaked black lentils and chana dal. Along with these, sprinkle in all the aromatic spices: coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder, and garam masala. Stir everything together until the lentils are thoroughly coated in the flavorful spices.
    4. Liquify and Cook: Pour in 1.5-2 cups of water, ensuring it covers the lentils by about an inch. This liquid will meld all the flavors together into a harmonious union. Secure the lid of your Instant Pot and select the pressure cook setting. Let it cook on high for 40 minutes, allowing the lentils to become tender and infused with all the delicious spices.
    5. Release and Embrace: Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a natural release, allowing the pressure to dissipate gradually. This gentle release ensures that our curry retains its flavors and textures perfectly.
    6. Creamy Consistency: Grab a whisk and gently mix the lentils until they reach a creamy consistency. This step is crucial for achieving that luxurious mouthfeel that makes every bite a delight.
    7. Finishing Touches: To elevate our curry to new heights, add a spoonful of coconut milk for extra creaminess. Finally, sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top for a burst of color and freshness.

Instant Pot Black Lentils

Looking for the products I used in this video?

Everything I use in my videos (plus so much more) can be found on my Amazon Storefront 👇🏽

Amazon Storefront!

Instant Pot Black Lentils



1 cup black lentils + 1/2 cup chana dal (split chickpea lentils) - rinsed and soaked overnight

1 red onion - finely chopped

2 medium Roma tomatoes - finely chopped

1 serrano pepper - finely chopped

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander powder

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp red chili powder (adjust according to taste)

1/2 tbsp cumin powder

1/2 tbsp garam masalaa

salt to taste

1.5-2 cups water



Off On

  1. Turn your instant pot on to the sauté setting (medium heat)

  2. Once hot, add in the cumin seeds and onions with a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions turn soft. (If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little bit of hot water or broth)

  3. Add in the Serrano pepper, ginger garlic paste, and chopped tomatoes. Sauté until you are able to smash the onion/tomato mixture with the back of your spoon.

  4. Add in the overnight soaked lentils along with all your spices - mix well until everything is well combined. Add in 1.5-2 cups water or about an inch above the lentils.

  5. Select the pressure cook setting and cook on high for 40 minutes, followed by a natural release.

  6. Using a whisk, mix the lentils together until you have a nice, creamy consistency.

  7. For extra creaminess, add a spoonful of coconut milk and cilantro for garnish.

No Comments

Leave a Reply