Go Back
+ servings
Delicious Instant pot dal tadka is a spicy flavorful Indian dal. It pairs well with rice and Indian flatbreads

Instant Pot Dal Tadka

Dal tadka is a flavorful dal with split yellow pigeons peas.
Course Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Usha Rao


  • ¼ cup Toor/Tuvar/Arhar Dal/Dry Pigeon Peas
  • 2-3 teaspoon Oil
  • 2 - 3 small Green Chilies
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Garlic or 2 fat Garlic Cloves
  • ½ medium sized or ⅓ cup sliced Onion
  • ½ large or ⅓ - ½ cup chopped Tomato
  • Turmeric Powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt


  • 2 teaspoon Ghee or Oil or combination of both
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 fat Garlic Cloves or 1 teaspoon of chopped Garlic Cloves
  • ½ - ¾ Kasoori Methi
  • Pinch of Hing ~ Asafoetida
  • Pinch of Chili Powder, optional
  • Cilantro for garnish


  • Wash dal and soak for 10 minutes or until ready to use.
  • Plug Instant Pot and set it to saute mode.
  • When the inner vessel is hot, add oil and saute green chilies, ginger and garlic for few seconds.
  • Throw in onions and continue to saute for a minute or two until onions are soft.
  • Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and continue sauteing until tomatoes are soft and mushy. 
  • Cover the inner pot to speed up cooking of tomatoes.  This step is optional
  • Discard water from the dal, add to Instant Pot  and continue to saute for a minute or two until dal is roasted.
  • Hit cancel button, add ¾ cup of water and give a good stir.
  • At this point, if one wants to cook other items along with dal, insert the containers for pot in pot cooking. 
  • Close Instant Pot and press Manual/Pressure Cook. Adjust the time to 5 minutes, make sure the pressure is set to high and vent sealed.
  • Basically it is 5 minutes in manual setting and quick release after 5 minutes. 
  • I cooked eggs along with dal hence quick release.  Else do natural pressure release.
  • Open instant pot, remove vessels if you did pip.
  • Press saute mode, stir dal, add about ¾ cup of water, salt and bring to a boil.
  • When desired consistency is reached, hit cancel button.  Mind you,  dal thickens as it cools.
  • Meantime, on stove top, do a tempering by heating oil/ghee mentioned in tadka ingredient list.  
  • When oil is hot, add cumin and let the seeds change color.
  • Add chopped garlic, hing and let garlic roast.
  • Turn off the flame, add kasuri methi, turmeric and chili powder if using.
  • Pour the tadka over dal, add cilantro, cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes until flavors infuse into dal.  
  • Serve dal with roti, paratha or rice.


  • I use vine ripe tomatoes but any variety will work
  • 5 minutes manual setting - Contents in the Instant pot will cook for 5 minutes on high pressure once the pressure is built.
  • It will take about 8 minutes for the pressure to build up.