Dal Makhani (creamy lentil curry) is a very rich and elegant North Indian dish, traditionally made with lots of butter and cream. I’ve turned this classic dish healthy by making it 100% Vegan and OIL FREE and it tastes absolutely amazing!
The flavor of this lentil curry actually comes more from the lentils than the spices, which is why I cut back on how much spice I put in this recipe.
If you want to get that true ‘makhan’ or buttery taste then you can always add some vegan butter (like a lot of it), but it wouldn’t be oil free so just keep that in mind.
This beautiful combination of whole black lentils and kidney beans is packed with protein and is just sooo damn delicious 🙂
Do I have to use an Instant Pot?
Nope, you can cook this dal in several ways. Instant Pot is the easiest, yes, but not the only way. You can cook the lentils and beans separately in boiling water (let it cook for about 1.5-2 hours) and sauté the onions, tomatoes, etc in a separate pan. You would just then combine the two together with all the spices and what not. If you want a quicker cooking method, then you can also use a pressure cooker (which works the exact same way as an instant pot, minus being digital).
What’s the best way to re-heat this recipe?
I always suggest reheating this curry a pan – if you want it creamier, feel free to add more than 1 can coconut milk, just be sure to continuously check the taste to make sure the coconut milk isn’t overpowering. (I used one can of coconut milk and it was the perfect amount for me).
Looking for more comfort food favorites? Try these!
One Pot Vegan Dal Makhani – Instant Pot
- 3/4 cup whole black lentils + 1/4 cup red kidney beans - soaked overnight
- 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 large white onion- finely chopped
- 3 large tomatoes- finely chopped
- 1 seranno pepper- finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional for that extra creamy-ness, but not required)
Heat up your instant pot on sauté mode and add the cumin seeds. *use the normal setting*
once the cumin seeds start to crackle, add the white onions and saute until soft and translucent - if they start to stick to the pan, add a little bit of water at a time
add the ginger garlic paste and chopped Serrano pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes
add the chopped tomatoes and mix well- cook until the tomatoes have softened
add in all the spices (whole and ground) and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
using the end of your wooden spoon or spatula, start to smush the tomato onion mixture - this will help give the lentils a nice creamy texture
add in the drained and rinsed lentils (soaked for 8 hours or overnight) and 3 cups of water
close the lid of the instant pot and make sure the nozzle is turned to the sealing position
Cook on manual pressure for 35 minutes followed by a natural release
once the lentils are cooked, let it simmer for about 10 minutes - stirring often
add in the coconut milk and simmer for an additional 5 minutes
garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with roti or rice